Creamy Pesto-Carrot Soup

This recipe was a happy little accident when I was trying to make a dip. The dip didn’t turn out as intended, but I took a friend’s advice (“For once!”, she’d say) and tried to salvage it. That’s how this soup was born.
The verdict: definitely hearty and satisfying, and a dish in its own right!

Note: always read a recipe in full before beginning

4 medium carrots – about 300g (roughly sliced or grated)
1 medium potato
 (peeled and chopped)
1/2 leek 
(sliced into small chunks)
1 small onion (diced)
3 garlic cloves 
(minced)
5 cups of vegetable broth (or water)
1 handful of basil leaves (about 8 medium leaves)

1 tbsp Olive oil
1.5 tsp Salt

Pepper to taste

For garnish
Jounieh Bay Granola (McCloud BBQ works well, too, though bringing more tang and a touch of heat)
Grated Parmesan (or nutritional yeast for a delicious plant-based option)

METHOD

1. Preheat the olive oil in a medium pot, add the garlic and onions, turn the heat to medium/high. Stir them for a few minutes until fragrant and close the lid for another 2-3 minutes to allow the moisture to remain in the pot.

2. Add the carrots, potatoes, leeks, and stir for 1 minute or 2 to brown them. Add the water (or broth), basil leaves, salt to taste, and let everything cook on medium-high heat until the vegetable are tender and easily pierced with a fork, around 20 minutes.

3. Blend the vegetable with some of the broth in a food processor or blender (if you have an immersion blender, even better) until they are completely pureed. If you do not have a blender, mash with a fork as much as you can The result will not be as smooth, but you will get the same burst of flavour.

4. Pour the soup back into the pot, and adjust the texture according to your preference (cook down with open lid to thicken, or add a little broth if it’s too thick for your taste). Adjust for salt

5. Ladle into bowl, garnish with some grated parmesan to taste, freshly ground pepper, and a small handful (about 25g per bowl) of Jounieh Bay granola.

Enjoy a powerhouse soup to warm you up on a cosy night, loaded with healthy vegetables and topped with serious crunch.

Granola pairings:

Jounieh Bay