This beautiful, bold, soup is full of goodness and vitamins and vitality, and reminds me of a gentle, grandmotherly hug. It’s a brightening tonic, a perky pick-me-up, and a simple sunshine injection for a hangover or a cold or a bluesy day. You can blend it all together for a more substantial meal, but here I have strained it for a clear, simple broth. To make this gluten free, make sure the stock cube you are using is free from gluten.
Serves 2-4 from 19p each
1 large onion, 9p (70p/1.5kg, Basics)
4 fat cloves of garlic, 6p (35p/2 bulbs, Basics)
A small piece of fresh ginger, 3p (30p/100g)
2 tsp turmeric, 3p (80p/100g, Natco or KTC)
1 tsp cumin or garam masala, 2p (80p/100g, Natco or KTC)
4 decent sized carrots, 21p (75p/1.5kg, Basics)
1 yellow or orange pepper, 25p (£1/4, Basics)
Half a lemon or 1 tbsp bottled juice, 3p (55p/250ml bottled lemon juice)
1 vegetable stock cube, 3p (30p/10, Basics)
1 tsp oil, 2p (97p/l Asda)
A little black pepper, <1p (80p/100g, Natco or KTC)
Chilli to finish, <1p (80p/100g, Natco or KTC brand)
First peel your onion and finely slice it, and toss it into the largest saucepan you can find. Peel your garlic and toss that in too. Add the oil, cumin and turmeric, and cook gently on a medium heat for around 5 minutes, just to knock off the caustic, raw edges.
Slice your carrots – it doesn’t matter how thinly or thickly – and the peppers, tops and seeds and all, and add them to the pan.
Pour in the water, add the lemon, and crumble in the stock cube, and turn the heat up to bring to the boil. When the water is boiling, reduce it to a simmer on a low-medium heat (low on a larger hob, medium on a smaller one) and cook for around an hour to extract all of the colour and flavour from the veg.
Taste it – and season with a little salt and pepper to your liking. Remove from the heat and strain through a sieve for a clear golden broth. Serve with a pinch of chilli for a gentle spicy kick!
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