Carrot and Cranberry Soup

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The vibrant combination of orange carrots and scarlet cranberries gives this soup a spectacular colour. Because this is a smooth soup with a flavour which is slightly sweet and sharp, people find it hard to define the exact ingredients – but they always enjoy it. Use either fresh or frozen cranberries.

Ingredients

  • 500 g (1 lb) carrots, chopped roughly
  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • 1.2 litres (2 pints) water
  • 300 ml (½ pint) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 175 g (6 oz) cranberries, thawed if frozen
  • Good handful of fresh dill or fennel leaves, chopped roughly
  • 300 ml (½ pint) creamed smetana or soured cream
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Method

Put the carrots, garlic cloves, water, orange juice, caster sugar and a sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper in a large pan. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes until the carrots are very soft.

Add the cranberries, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Pour into a food processor – you will probably have to do this in two or three goes depending on the size of your machine – and whizz until smooth. Strain the soup through a sieve into a clean saucepan. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Reheat the soup and serve in individual bowls, sprinkled with some chopped dill or fennel. Spoon a dollop of creamed smetana on to each serving.

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