Baked carrot soup with rosemary and feta cheese
When the weather starts to get colder, kids are back in school and the work routine seems busier than ever, nothing is easier and more comforting than soup. Soup is perfect any day of the week and if combined with some slices of toasted bread, to me it seems the most heavenly of things.
Today's soup is with baked carrots and an emulsion of feta cheese, lemon and olive oil. Simple and delicious.
As you know, the secret of a good soup lies all in the stock, which I suggest to prepare ahead of time. I'm using chicken stock, I think it adds extra creaminess to the overall flavour, but a vegetable stock will do too. Because I know that in this period my days tend to get quite busy, I like to organise myself and prepare a lot of stock one afternoon and then store it in the freezer in 150/300 ml plastic bags, so whenever I don't have time (which is: often), there's always an easy solution to reach to!
In general, baking the veg before transforming it into a soup adds an extra touch. Carrots, for example, after having spent some time in the oven with a clove of garlic, oil and pepper, bring out all their sweetness and remain denser. To make the soup nice and smooth, blend it very well and make sure it is lump-free. The emulsion of rosemary, lemon and oil gives a touch of freshness leaving a wonderful aftertaste. Enjoy!
BAKED CARROT SOUP WITH CORIANDER, LEMON AND FETA CHEESE
FOR THE STOCK:
A quarter of a chicken
2 celery sticks, carrots, tomatoes, onions
METHOD: Prepare the stock in advance. Wash and chop all the vegetables, heat a pot, add oil and a crushed clove of garlic and the vegetables. Stir, remove the garlic, add the quarter of a chicken and about 2 litres of water. Bring to boil, add salt, lower the heat and let cook until you obtain more or less 3/4 of a litre of liquid. When ready, remove the meat, drain the rest, filter well and keep aside.
FOR THE SOUP:
INGREDIENTS (Serves 2)
1/2 lt of chicken stock
10 gr feta cheese
10 ml squeezed lemon
1 crushed garlic clove
extra virgin olive oil
1) Pre-heat oven at 200°
2) Rinse and peel carrots then cut lengthwise in half first, then in 4. Put in a baking pan, pour some olive oil and add the crushed clove of garlic. Bake for about 35 minutes and grill for the last 5.
3) In the meantime, chop some coriander and put in a small cup the feta cheese, a little bit of squeezed lemon juice, a few drops of olive oil and mix with a fork until the ingredients are well amalgamated and you obtain a nice emulsion.
4) When the carrots are ready, keep a couple aside and chop, then put the rest into a pot with the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and blend with a hand-blender until it's nice and creamy, with no lumps.
5) Pour the soup into a bowl, garnish with rosemary, the lemon and feta emulsion and and the chopped carrots, grind some pepper ad serve warm.