• STEP 1

    Heat the butter in a deep saucepan over a medium heat until just starting to sizzle, then fry the cumin seeds until toasted and crackling.

  • STEP 2

    Add the onion, leek, garlic, star anise, carrots and a pinch of salt. Stir to coat. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook gently for 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally until the vegetables have softened in their own steam.

  • STEP 3

    Pour over the stock and bring the mixture to a simmer, then continue to cook for 10 mins until the carrots are tender. Spoon 2 tbsp of the cream into a small dish and set aside, then pour the rest into the pan and bring back to the boil. Remove the star anise and use a hand blender to blitz the mixture until smooth and silky. Or, tip into a standard blender in batches and blitz before returning to the pan. For a really smooth soup, push through a sieve into a saucepan. At this stage, the soup can be cooled completely and chilled for up to three days or frozen for six months. Defrost fully before reheating. Reheat until piping hot over a low heat, then pour into bowls, drizzle with the reserved cream and scatter the extra cumin seeds on top. Serve with these cheese, cumin & onion seed cornbread muffins, if you like.

Recipe tip

You can swap the carrots in this recipe for the same amount of other veg, following the same method. Squash or pumpkin, celeriac or sweet potatoes all work well, or you can use a mixture to use up odds and ends in your kitchen.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, September 2021

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