Tomato Carrot Soup With Apple and Celery
This nutritious soup takes just over an hour to prepare (excluding the chore of washing up!). If you have a blender, it saves a lot of time if you pulp the vegetables first so that they cook quicker. The weight of the main ingredients isn't critical, and I vary them from time to time depending on what's available.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 hour 15 min
1 hour 45 min
3 litres or just over 6 pints
- 1.5 pounds (0.7kg) tomatoes, halved
- 16 ounces (0.45 kg) celery, cut into 3 to 4 inch pieces
- 1 large-sized onion, cut into 4 pieces
- 4 medium sized carrots, diced
- 3 or 4 sweet or cooking apples (optional)
- 2 small cups rolled oatmeal
- 1/2 cup soup mix (lentils, chick peas, barley etc)
- 20 leaves or 4 heaped teaspoons fresh or dried basil (optional)
- 6 sprigs oregano (optional)
- Several cups of water to add to get the desired consistency
- 2 to 3 teaspoons hot chili powder
- 2 teaspoon or 1/2 clove garlic powder or fresh garlic
- 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- Put the soup mix into a bowl, and cover with water. Soak overnight, then drain and rinse. You can also add rolled oats or dry coconut as a thickening for the soup.
- Wash all vegetable ingredients in cold water.
- Peel and remove all blemishes, spots, and yellowed leaves from the vegetables and dice into 2" pieces. Halve the tomatoes without removing the seeds, quarter the onion, and dice the celery. Drop the tomato chunks one by one into the blender. Repeat for the celery, onion, soup mix, and apples. You won't be able to fit all the ingredients into the blender, so blend portions at a time. Blend to the desired consistency, i.e., lumpy or smooth.
- While blending, add a cup of water to the blender. If you don't do this, sometimes what happens is that everything gets stuck to the walls of the blender, and the blades just spin in the air. While blending, there should be a "whirlpool" effect at the surface of the contents of the blender, and everything should be spiraling downwards towards the blades. If the mixture seems to be stagnating on top and the blender motor sounds as if it is struggling, simply add more water. My blender has a 550 watt rating, so I throw tomatoes and celery into it whole—if your blender has a lower power rating, then chop the vegetables into smaller pieces to avoid stressing and overloading the motor.
- Add the garlic, chili powder, and herbs to the mix and continue to blend.
- Empty the contents of the blender jug into a saucepan. Add water if needed. You can make really thick soup, sort of like a concentrate, and then add water when heating up before eating. Stir thoroughly, bringing to a boil and simmering for 5 minutes. It's important to stir constantly—otherwise, the soup will stick to the bottom of the pot and burn, spoiling the flavor. Soup will also boil over once it reaches boiling point, so turn down the heat when it starts bubbling.
- When it's done, allow to cool, stirring every so often to avoid a skin forming on the surface.
- Stir before serving or storing to distribute any fibrous material from the vegetables through the mix.
Using Up Leftovers and Saving Money
Soup is a great way of using up leftovers. You know that dusty stuff at the bottom of the cereal or muesli bag which no one likes? This can go into the blender to thicken the soup. You can also use old vegetables like carrots which have become somewhat rubbery and other odds and ends from the refrigerator. If you have any windfall apples, they can be sliced, cored, and added to the soup to give it a nice sweet and savory effect.
How Long Can I Store This Soup For?
This soup can be stored in a fridge for two weeks. However, I reckon it's important to sterilize the bowl or other container with vinegar and also give the lid a wipe with vinegar too. I normally add about 1/4 cup of vinegar to the bottom of the bowl, which probably soaks through the soup and helps to keep it. Then, as you use the soup, keep ladling from the top until you get to the bottom so you're always uncovering a new surface rather than scooping down on one side.
You can freeze it indefinitely—however, the water and solids tend to separate out, so it will need lots of stirring.
© 2013 Eugene Brennan