Roasted carrot soup with smoked paprika and rosemary

Roasting the carrots gives a deeper flavour. The paprika can be ‘hot’ or ‘sweet’ (check the tin). 

If using the hot version taste as you go.

Ingredients:

1 onion or leek, or 2 large shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
800g cleaned carrots, roughly chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
1.2 ltr chicken or vegetable stock
250ml organic crème fraîche
1 bay leaf
1-2 tsp smoked paprika, to taste
leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs, finely chopped
salt + pepper
handful of chopped chives, parsley or coriander to finish

Method:

1.Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Put the chopped carrot in an oven tray and mix through 2 tbsp oil and some salt and pepper.Roast for 30 mins or until partly browned.

2. Meanwhile in a large saucepan, fry the onion and garlic with the bay leaf in 2 tbsp oil until soft.

3. Stir through the rosemary and smoked paprika. Once the carrot is cooked, add it to the saucepan with the onion and then add the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer until all the vegetables are soft.Blend until smooth and return to the pan.

4. Reheat, adding 200ml of the crème fraîche and more smoked paprika to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a swirl of cream and a scattering of fresh herbs.
    

Carrots are one of the richest vegetable sources of pro-vitamin A carotenoids, including alpha- and beta-carotene which can be converted into an active form of Vitamin A helping to support vision health, and boost the immune system. 

The carotenoids which give carrots their rich orange colour also provide powerful antioxidant support. Carrots are also rich in fibre and research suggests that Vitamin A rich foods such as carrots are good to include in your diet if you are concerned about lung health or a smoker.
 
Recipe taken from www.riverford.co.uk