I first made this soup a couple of years ago, a bit snuffly around the edges, with a sore throat and generally feeling a bit sorry for myself, and limping around tragically on a broken left foot. This may be the most self-pitying recipe introduction to date. But basically, I fancied something warm, and sweet, and comforting, and easy to do. Something I could fling in the oven and forget about, and get something good inside. Carrot led to roast carrot, and garlic, and some chickpeas for protein and good measure – and the result is a subtly spiced, hearty, sweet and delicious soup. It’s like the soup equivalent of a cuddle, this one. And suitable for all my lovely vegan readers, too.

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Serves 4 at 20p each:

300g carrots (approx 3 medium ones), 13p (43p/1kg)

240g tinned chickpeas (that’s the drained and rinsed weight of a 400g can), 40p

4 fat cloves of garlic, 8p (4 bulbs/69p)

2 tbsp oil (vegetable or sunflower), 4p (£1.10/1l)

150g onion (one small one or half a large one), 8p (54p/1kg)

1/2 tsp cumin (1.3g), 3p (£1.15/100g)

a pinch of chilli, 2p

800ml weak stock (1/2 stock cube will do), 2p

First heat your oven to 180C. Wash your carrots and slice thickly, and toss into a roasting tin.

Drain and thoroughly rinse your chickpeas and add to the tin, with the whole garlic cloves. Pour over the oil and give it all a shuffley-shake to lightly coat it, and pop it in the oven for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel and finely slice your onion, and set to one side. When your first 20 minutes is up, remove the roasting tin from the oven, scatter the onion over, and the cumin and chilli, and give it all another shake. Cook for a further 20 minutes, until it looks like this:

Yummy roasty goodness. And yes I leave the tops on my carrots - waste not want not!

Yummy roasty goodness. And yes I leave the tops on my carrots – waste not want not!

Remove the garlic cloves from the roasting tin, and tip the rest of the contents into a blender – keeping some chickpeas aside to garnish if you like that sort of thing. Squeeze in the soft garlic (don’t put the skins in the blender, they end up like tiny bits of wet tissue that stick to the roof of your mouth. We learn from our errors, round here, and pass the wisdom on – though in my defence that was many years ago…). Add the stock and blend until smooth.

Remove from the blender and warm through, garnishing with reserved chickpeas to serve.

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All text copyright Jack Monroe.

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