I do love soup! It always feels like such a wholesome and filling meal, but healthy at the same time and as I try to kick start the new year with some healthy eating post the usual over indulgence of the holidays, soup is where I begin.
This carrot and ginger soup is deliciously warming for a cold winter’s day. The caraway crackers are a superb complimentary flavour, and surprisingly easy to make if you’ve never made crackers before, but a good loaf of crusty bread goes just as well.
You can easily swap the shallots for red or white onions and if you don’t have any fresh ginger then add a teaspoon of dry ginger powder, although it doesn’t taste quite as good in my opinion. If you fancy making your own stock then simply add a handful of fresh herbs to near boiling water with a generous pinch of sea salt and leave to seep for about 10 mins. Don’t bring to the boil or leave in too long as the herbs will taste bitter if you do so.
Both the crackers (in an airtight container) and the soup (in the fridge) will last for a few days.
For the soup:
Piece of fresh ginger, circa 1 inch, skin removed and finely sliced or grated
1.5litres vegetable stock
Zest of 1 lemon
For the caraway crackers (makes about 12):
100g wholemeal flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
20g butter, cut into small cubes or you can use 20ml of olive oil for a vegan version
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp caraway seeds
Roughly chop up the shallots and carrots. Fry the shallots in a little olive oil until they soften and begin to turn golden. Add the carrots to the pan, pour over the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat, add the ginger and lemon zest and leave to simmer for about 30-40 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, make the crackers. Preheat the oven to 220C and pop a baking sheet into warm with the oven. Mix the flour with the sea salt, butter or oil, maple syrup and caraway seeds. Rub the butter into the flour until it is all incorporated or mix in the oil with a fork. Slowly add about 40ml cold water, stirring to form a firm dough. You don’t want the dough to be wet, so just add enough water to allow the dough to form into a ball. It may not seem enough to start with but as you bring it together it will appear to become stickier and 40ml should make it the right consistency.
Roll the dough out as thinly as you can and cut into cracker sized rectangles – the thinner you roll it, the crunchier the crackers will be! I never worry too much about getting an even size and shape which makes it a quick process and avoids you having to keep rerolling to use all the dough. Prick crackers all over with a fork and lay them on baking paper on to the hot baking sheet. Pop in the oven for about 12min or until just turning brown. Cool on a wire rack. Note the crackers crisp up during cooling so don’t worry if they seem a little soft when you remove them from the oven.
Take the soup off the heat and blend with a hand blender. Season well with sea salt. I recommend not adding pepper as the ginger has quite a kick by itself. Serve with the crackers or with some crusty bread.
vegetarian, vegan, comfort food