We eat a lot of homemade soup throughout the year, and my personal favourite is creamy carrot and tomato, especially when all the produce comes from our vegetable garden.
The carrots and tomatoes are extremely complimentary in this soup because the sweetness of the carrots offsets the acidity of the tomatoes. It’s also very versatile as a soup because you can have it hot in the winter or room temperature in the summer.
Not only is this soup full of flavour, it’s packed with antioxidants, beta-carotene and vitamins from the tomatoes and carrots.
- 500g of cherry tomatoes (or two tins of tomatoes if you don’t have any fresh tomatoes on hand)
- 1kg carrots
- 1 medium onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 8-10 sprigs of thyme
- 2.5 litres of water
- 100ml of single cream (optional, but recommended)
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil
Peel the carrots and onion, and chop roughly.
Wash the tomatoes. Typically, we’d roast the tomatoes and garlic first, but since we’re dealing with the cost of living crisis, we are not going to do that because we want this soup to be as cheap as possible to make.
Pour olive oil into pot (capacity of around 5 litres) and fry onions on gentle heat until transparent. Add the tomatoes and carrots, and season with salt.
Stir and leave on heat for a few minutes. Pour 2.5 litres of water over the carrots and tomatoes. Cover with lid and allow to simmer on medium heat for around 30 minutes until the carrots are cooked and soft.
Once cooked, remove from heat. Crush the peeled garlic under a knife and remove the thyme from the stalks. Place both in the soup mixture. Using an immersion blender (we use a battery operated KitchenAid, which we highly recommend) blend the soup until thin and there are no chunky carrot bits left.
Add the cream and blitz again with the blender until fully mixed through. You can forgo the cream if you want to have a healthier soup, but I find that the cream balances the flavours and also gives the soup a nice colour. Leave to rest for 15 minutes, then serve. Garnish with basil leaves.
The end result is a smooth, rich, velvety soup that has loads of flavour. By using the cherry tomatoes whole, you get all the seeds, skins and goodness in the soup, which also gives it a bit of texture. This makes about 3 litres of soup (ten 300ml servings or six 500ml servings) and costs less than £3 to make using supermarket purchased ingredients. It’s amazing value for such a large volume of soup.
You can enjoy the soup as it is with a slice of bread on the side. As an alternative serving suggestion, you can crush some tortilla chips into the soup and mix them through, or you can slice some avocado and add it to the hot soup while serving which adds a slightly different dimension to the soup, and gives it some extra colour.