Sunday, June 1, 2014

Nigel Slater's 'A Soup the Color of Marigolds' --A Sunshiny Blend of Carrot & Yellow Tomato for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

It was Nigel Slater's poetic title and recipe sketch that drew me to this soup, a simple blend of carrots and yellow tomato. "A Soup the Color of Marigolds" from Tender: A Cook and his Vegetable Patch sounds much more exotic than carrot and yellow tomato soup. It also seemed like the perfect way to kick off June, plus the fact that it can be served either warm or cold makes it a good fit for whatever weather and preferences you might be having.

'A Soup the Color of Marigolds'
Adapted from Tender by Nigel Slater
(Serves 4)

"It was a simple soup, ten minutes' hands-on work and barely half an hour on the stove. An onion, coarsely chopped, softened in a little olive oil in a deep and heavy pan. An equal amount of carrots and yellow tomatoes. (I used 1 pound [450g} of each to make enough for four), chopped and stirred into the soft, translucent onion. About 4 cups (a liter) of water (I could have used stock), and some salt, pepper, and a couple of bay leaves. It simmered for half an hour, then I pureed it to a thick, pulpy broth in the blender. We ended up with four big bowls of coarse-textured soup, as bright and cheerful as a pitcher of June flowers, a few chives stirred in a the table. As we licked our spoons, someone mentioned it would have been good to have it chilled. But by that time it was too late to try."

Notes/Results: A simple but tasty bowl of soup--really tasty in fact. The sweetness of the carrots and tomato are pleasant rather than cloying and although 'thick pulpy broth' may not always appeal, it works here with the combination. I actually think with the coarse-texture, I liked it best room temperature or cold rather than hot. With the few ingredients, you want fresh and good ones--I used small local carrots and yellow tomatoes and a sweet Maui onion and a fresh bay leaf from the plant on my lanai. I did choose to use a bit of mock chicken stock with the water, just to round out the flavor and a good pinch of white pepper. Also Nigel topped the soup with chives but I picked tarragon instead, thinking it's slightly bittersweet, anise flavor would work well with the sweetness of the soup. It is the bright and cheerful soup Nigel describes and would be excellent for a picnic or the starter for a meal on a warm night. Healthy too--with plenty of vitamins A and C and a bunch of other nutrients. I would happily make this again.  

This soup is being linked up at I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is Veg Out!--you can see the veggie-filled dishes everyone made by checking out the picture links on the post.

In the meantime, we have a some good friends sharing dishes in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's take a look.

Such gorgeous color in this Black Beluga Lentil and Vegetable Soup from Simona of briciole. She says, "I like turnips  and don't need encouragement to put a bunch in my basket. Of course, in the company of red beets, white turnips cannot avoid getting painted in the same color, but they don't lose their delicately spicy flavor and stand up nicely to the sweet beets, creating a balance in the soup, together with lentils and fresh spinach (spinaci), the latter also from my CSA share.

It was a popular week for Nigel Slater soups. My friend and fellow IHCC co-host Sue of Couscous & Consciousness shares Nigel's Roasted Pumpkin Laksa and says, "Today is the first day of winter here in New Zealand, so I was definitely on the lookout for something warming, and quite possibly "soupy".  When I stumbled across "A new pumpkin laksa for a cold night" in Tender, Vol. I, I knew I'd struck gold.  I'm not personally a huge fan of your run-of-the-mill pumpkin soup - it's ok, I guess, but it just doesn't excite me.  I do, however, love a good laksa, and the idea of combining the aromatic, coconut-rich broth and noodles with the sweet nuttiness of pumpkin really appealed."

And rounding out the Slater soup-fest is another friend and fellow IHCC co-host Kim of Stirring the Pot making a Nigel soup to help her get over some icky flu. She says, "All week long I fantasized about eating a nice healing bowl of soup. So my first foray back into the kitchen is in fact a huge pot of soup filled with green veggies, beans, pasta, and tender chicken.  In fact, the name Green Chicken Minestrone just sounds like it should nurse you back to health, doesn't it?  I know I certainly feel better after enjoying a bowl. Good thing cause I gotta get my strength back up so I can return to Jazzercise tomorrow."  

It's a vegan take on a classic from Janet of The Taste Space, here with her Eccentric Caeser Salad. Janet says, "Eccentric because it is no standard Caesar. I mean, it is a vegan version of a decidedly un-vegan salad but the twist comes from the nutritional yeast and curry powder in the dressing and the mishmash of additional ingredients. The cashew-based dressing was simply delicious, aka awesome sauce. Paired with the fresh lettuce, buttery avocado, briny capers and hemp seeds, it was a superfood-packed salad. (And by superfoods, I mean super tasting foods!) Instead of the herby croutons, I wanted this to be a complete meal and thus added the chicken-less strips overtop. The strips look a bit too perfectly rectangular but they tasted great.

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog is here with a salad of Roasted Caramelized Beets and Carrots in a Balsamic Glaze and says, "I happened to have some fresh beets in the refrigerator . The recipe calls for Balsamic vinegar, but I had have two gourmet flavored vinegars in the closet that I wanted to try: cranberry pear and orange champagne. I decided to try the cranberry pear vinegar that I had just received as a gift from our good friends Melissa and Stu. It has a sweet delicious mild taste.  I also decided to add carrots to the recipe as well."

Thanks to everyone who joined in this week. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you want to share--just click on the Souper Sundays logo on my sidebar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. There is a little bit of a carrot and beet theme going on this week ;)
    A soup the color of marigolds definitely catches my attention as well. The soup is in fact a beautiful color. I've never made a carrot based soup before, but it is more and more on my radar all the time.

    Thanks so much for including me in the SS roundup. I really liked Janet's take the caesar salad.

  2. What's in a name, right? I agree with Kim about this week's theme. I am anxiously waiting for tomato season to start, then I'll be able to indulge. I l like your choice of tarragon, Deb. Thank you so much for the interesting roundup.

  3. That name is so poetic! And yes, it would definitely entice me more than carrot and tomato soup. :) The color is so vibrant!

  4. kitchen flavoursJune 2, 2014 at 3:59 AM

    What a pretty name for a dish! And the colour of the soup is really pretty! I can almost taste the sweetness from the carrots!

  5. So pretty, Deb! I almost didn't even noticed the recipe since it was in prose. :) Thanks again for rounding up the soups and salads this week

  6. Couscous & ConsciousnessJune 2, 2014 at 11:02 PM

    Drawn by the beautifully poetic title, I've had this one bookmarked for quite a while. You're right it does sound so much better than carrot & yellow tomato soup, doesn't it?! Your pictures have me wanting a bowl of this right now - good job I think that I bought a big bag of carrots yesterday.

  7. That soup is such a gorgeous colour! Love the idea of tomatoes and carrots - simple but would be so tasty together.

  8. You'll be able to see in the dark eating all that carrot! What a cool super power :-) It's very pretty.

  9. Carrots are a favourite vegetable the whole year. The soup looks very pretty


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