Caroline works here at GC, packing the fruit and veg bags and also cooking delicious lunches for us to share on packing days - especially welcome when the temperature in the packing yeard is hovering around 0 degrees. She made this delicious carrot and swede soup today, served with a kale pesto. Swede can have a slightly bitter taste, but here the carrots and pomegranate molasses give the soup a comforting sweetness. (The photo really doesn't do it justice; it tasted amazing!) Serves 4
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 swede, peeled, chopped into chunks and thinly sliced
2-3 carrots, thinly sliced
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 tsp ground cumin seed
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1 star anise
1 litre veg stock - or enough to completely cover the veg and a bit more
120g green or puy lentils (or red, if you prefer)
2 tbs tomato puree
1 tbs pomegranate molasses
1 tsp fennel seeds
a pinch of chilli flakes
Heat the oil in a large pan, add the cumin and coriander and stir round a little, then add the onion and cook for 5-10 minutes until transparent. Add the rest of the ingredients - swede, carrot, star anise, veg stock, lentils, tomato puree, pomegranate molasses, fennel seeds and chilli to taste.
Bring to the boil then simmer until the veg is soft and the lentils are cooked, about 20 minutes or so, giving it a stir now and again.
Adjust seasoning to taste and serve with a dollop of pesto (if you like) and some crusty bread on the side.