Thursday, 3 May 2012

Carrot and Orange Gazpacho

Apart from the occasional carrot cake or carrot salad I rarely have opportunity to make the carrot the star of the show. Carrots tend to make an appearance in the vegetable box but this time, instead of stored carrots from last year I had the first spring carrots. Thin and still slightly muddy with great green fronds, these carrots couldn't simply be added to a stew.
I had never made a cold soup before; I wasn't quite sure how I felt about it. Was it going to feel like a soup that had been left in the bowl too long or was it going to be more like a vegetable smoothie? What if there were all sorts of unwanted lumpy bits and it looked like wallpaper paste? There was much ooh-ing and aah-ing as I tried to work out how best to juice a carrot. It turns out all the deliberation was worth it, carrot gazpacho is in a soup league of its own.
You will need (for two):
500g carrots, peeled and chopped
1/4 red pepper, chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
1 garlic clove
1/4 cucumber, peeled and chopped
Few sprigs coriander, chopped
2-3 tbsp orange juice
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
White Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Add to a blender the carrots, pepper, spring onions, garlic, cucumber and coriander and blend until you have a paste. This took much persuasion and perseverance but the blender did finally manage it. The smaller you can chop the vegetables before they go in the better. Add the orange juice and blend again. 
Now comes the stupendously satisfying part; pass the mixture through a muslin into a bowl. I managed to do this in four batches with much squeezing, squashing and squishing. The dry parts that are left went into the compost. Add to the carroty liqueur: a drizzle of olive oil, a dash of vinegar and some salt and pepper. Give it one final blend to make sure it's nicely incorporated.
I was astounded at the intensity of flavour from this soup. The carrots not only gave a fantastic colour but their subtle sweetness wasn't lost or overshadowed by anything else. There was a faint whiff of onion and garlic; a nice watery, clean flavour from the cucumber and pepper and then the delicate, slightly floral taste of the coriander. 
It's not really something you can fill up on; I would advise eating it before something much more substantial but it's absolutely worth giving a try. Making something this fresh allows you to appreciate the elegant flavours that might otherwise be lost in cooking. There's a gazpacho for all seasons; carrot, tomato or beetroot, but only time will tell if this works with cabbage.

30 comments:

  1. Sounds too easy. I'll have to have a go

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  2. I'm a bit unsure about cold soups. The thought of them just doesn't sit right with me, but I will try one some day.

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  3. I'm a big fan of carrot juice, so I know this will be awesome, will have to try it, lovely seasonal spring soup.
    Cheers
    Marcus

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  4. Gosh, this sounds REALLY good!! I love gazpacho...and your sweet carrot version is delightful :)

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  5. How unusual :) Looks very yummy. Right up my foodie alley!

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  6. Sounds simple and very effective - a must try :D
    Yum!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  7. Sounds as if it would be a great soup to serve at the start of a summer dinner-party. Have you ever tried making soup with just the "water" from tomatoes? I mean without using any of the red flesh? It looks weak and insipid but it has the most amazingly intense flavour. Try it!

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  8. Great idea! It will be an amazing starter for hot summer day & truly love the sweet taste of carrots! Above all that a very healthy soup! Have a lovely weekend dear! :)

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  9. I had no idea that you could juice carrots in a blender, by blending them and squeezing the juice out -- I'll have to try it. The spring carrots I get are thin in flavor and don't cook well -- I find it better to eat them raw until they attain some size.

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  10. It's been so hot lately that I find this soup idea a prefect one for today! I think my kids will love it too :)

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  11. i've never made a cold soup, but this post has me so intrigued i need to try it! great post!

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  12. Mmm.. this is mouthwatering. Great idea very inventive!

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  13. This looks like a really satisfying dish - tasty, healthy and vibrant colours. Really creative, nice one!

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  14. Great idea, it's kind of like fresh carrot juice, but thicker and with all the seasoning and flavouring of a soup. And those fresh carrots are soooo sweet. Nice post.

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  15. This is JUST what I need to get my second chakra in gear! :D That color is STUNNING!

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  16. Carrots are those I will always pick up for the week and already for cooking. Surely I good try for me because that look so tempting.

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  17. Amazing colors, and a cool gazpacho is always refreshing! The fresh carrots look delicious!

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  18. Speachless! There's only one word that describes my feelings accurate; hmmmmmmmm... {I know, it's not even a word}

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  19. Reminds me about my hot version of this with ginger added aswell. Love carrots!

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  20. This soup sounds simple and delicious. I love carrots!

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  21. Interesting soup. I make carrot juice a few times a week, need to try this soup one day.

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  22. This sounds absolutely lovely... we're growing heirloom carrots in the garden this year, and this soup sounds like the perfect way to show them off! Can't wait to try it out.

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  23. It’s funny but I only started liking cold soups just a few years ago. This one looks to be another to add to my small-but growing list of ones to try out! Many thanks indeed!

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  24. I'm always looking for other takes on Gazpacho. Apart from my white and red, I've also seen a red cabbage(purple) one. Yours looks so enticing. Will have to think up some more ideas of how I can incorporate it.

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  25. Wow, the color on that is stunning! For someone who doesn't usually make cold soups, you did an amazing job. Also, if you have not tried bits of carrot mixed into risotto, do. They add great crunch and color.

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  26. Wow, this looks great!! I like this word.. "gazpacho" I think I'll just say it to people now instead of "hello" it sound so much better.

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  27. I can tell it was intense. I would like to make more cold soups this summer for parties! Definitely is a good time saver! I like the idea of using beet root.
    Hope you are enjoying your spring(if it still feels like spring!).

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  28. This looks great. I've been scouring the net for cold soups and really don't like the look of many. Thanks for posting this. I have local oranges and local carrots so it's perfect.

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