Cumin for a real winter warmer

Carrot, yoghurt and cumin soup
Carrot, yoghurt and cumin soup
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Author of new cookery title ‘The Kitchen Orchard’, 26-year-old Natalia Conroy has won acclaim for her first book.

She draws inspiration from seasonal produce and her well-stocked store cupboard, and it’s clear that winter is a fertile time for her.

“I guess I really enjoy being able to cook things slowly and to leave them to take their time,” she says.

“It’s a very hearty time of year, and I think everybody agrees, you feel more hungry in the winter. You need more energy to do things, and we’re all a bit more glad for a nice bowl of something you’ve made an effort with.”

CARROT, YOGHURT AND CUMIN SOUP

(Serves 4)

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, roughly chopped

1/2tsp crushed dried chilli

3tbsp olive oil

20 carrots, finely diced or pulsed in a food processor

2 1/2tbsp honey

1tsp ground ginger

1/2tsp ground nutmeg

1tbsp ground cumin

500ml milk

250ml double cream

250ml water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Coriander leaves, nigella (black onion) seeds and Greek-style yoghurt, to serve

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, fry the garlic, parsley and chilli in the oil over a medium heat, until the garlic starts to turn a light golden. Add the carrots, honey, ginger, nutmeg and cumin.

Cook the carrots over a medium heat, stirring the pan from time to time for about an hour, until they are very soft and sweet. Add the milk, cream and water and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes, then check the seasoning.

Pour half the contents of the saucepan into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, then return this to the pan. Serve the soup sprinkled generously with coriander leaves, nigella seeds and a dollop of yoghurt.