Recipe: Carrot and Cumin Soup

This soup is just a little bit different from the standard spicy carrot soup which is usually made by combining them with coriander. Cumin and carrot is a really delicious combination too, especially perked up with some lemon juice.  And not just for soup, but roasting carrots with cumin seeds, garlic, olive oil and a small dash of wine vinegar makes a lovely simple accompaniment.

Adding a quick roast in the oven to the vegetable soup-making process really brings out the delicious sweetness of the vegetables.  Annie Bell’s lovely book Gorgeous Greens has a very satisfying recipe for beetroot soup made similarly, and we always enjoy a roast butternut squash soup we make with fenugreek.

This recipe makes a nice velvety soup and is even better, we think, if you use a bit of chilli powder at the end. A real autumn and winter warmer.

Carrot & Cumin Soup


1kg (2 pounds) carrots, scrubbed
olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 lemons
800ml (1 1/2 pints) water


  • Pre-heat the oven to 220c (Gas Mark 7)
  • Chop the carrots into rough chunks in a roasting dish.
  • Splash in the olive oil, sprinkle over the cumin seeds and add salt & pepper. Give it a shake to mix them all together.
  • Cover with foil & roast for 20 minutes in the oven, then remove the foil & roast for a further 30 minutes, giving them a stir after 15 minutes.
  • Use a liquidiser or food processor next. Add the juice & grated zest of 1 lemon and then add the carrots, a few at a time, and the water, a bit at a time, whizzing it up and then adding some more.
  • Once it’s all blended together, pass it through a sieve into a large saucepan and heat gently. Add 1/4 tsp chili powder if you want it to have some heat. Taste & add more lemon juice or salt if needed.
  • Serve as it is, or with some creme fraiche or yoghurt, maybe garnished with some chopped fresh chives.

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