A squeeze of lemon juice? Although you’d be forgiven for thinking that a squeeze of orange juice would be the more appropriate choice as an addition to carrot soup, I’m delighted to report that its bitter cousin the lemon works equally well.

This is a recipe I adapted from one I found on the wonderful 101 Cookbooks blog. It was exceedingly quick to make and turned out to be a flavoursome hug-in-a-bowl. An excellent addition to anyone’s kitchen repertoire. Especially for this time of year!

I added a bit of a kick to the original recipe by adding cumin and chilli, which I think gave the result some extra heat welcomed on a cold night.

What you need for Spicy Carrot Soup with Lemon for 4

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 medium white onion

2 cloves of garlic

4 large carrots

1 teaspoon of chilli flakes

1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin

750ml of vegetable or chicken stock

1/2 lemon

Salt 

Heat the olive oil in a large deep pot, good for making soup. Peel and chop the onion in to rough chunks. Peel the garlic and roughly chop. You’re going to blend it all so don’t worry about finely chopping anything. Fry both in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, stirring, until the onions start to soften.

Meanwhile, peel and roughly chop the carrots. Once the onions have softened, add the chilli and cumin and cook for a further minute, stirring. Now you can add the carrot chunks to the pot.

Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Put a lid on the pot and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the carrots are tender. You can add a drop of hot water if you think it needs a bit throughout the simmering.

Allow the soup to cool slightly and whizz it all up. Now squeeze in the juice of your half lemon – be careful not to let any pips get in there! Add a pinch of salt and give it a taste. Add some more salt if you think it needs it.

I served mine with a dollop of yoghurt and a few more sprinklings of chilli flakes. Yum!

KITCHEN TUNE

Here’s a track from Dublin based band Tieranniesaur who were nominated for this year’s Choice Music Prize. The nominees were announced today and you can see the full list here!