I love the taste of cloves, and they work really well in this carrot soup recipe, adding a hint of spice to the flavour and a lovely sweet aroma.
In addition to the deliciously sweet carrots, the soup is complemented by celeriac, bay leaves, and onion to add a really yummy mix of flavours.
I think celeriac goes especially well in soups. It is cheap to buy, stores well in the fridge, and you can cut chunks off as needed to use in soups and sauces. It has a taste similar to celery.
Watch How To Make Carrot & Clove Soup
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Carrots and cloves create a spiced, sweet, aromatic soup. If you like the flavour of cloves in bread sauce and mulled wine, you may love this soup. For a more traditional carrot soup, just leave out the cloves, all other parts of the recipe stay the same.
Carrots are one of those vegetables that taste so much better, with a more intense carrot taste, when grown at home. However, carrot fly can be a problem, so growing in big pots to keep the flies away is another option.
Celeriac is a bulbous vegetable. It is the same family of vegetable as celery, but is far easier to grow. I use celeriac as a substitute to celery in soups, to help add flavour to the stock.
Carrots are the main ingredient in the soup, but celeriac, onions, cloves, and bay leaves also add flavour. For speed, I used one stock cube for the stock.
Start by peeling the carrots, discard any discoloured tops and tails, and chop them into one centimetre pieces.
Celeriac can be a little harder to cut, but the skin is soft enough to use a normal vegetable peeler. Chop the celeriac into similar sized chunks as the carrots.
I used two small onions. The first onion is for the cloves. Top and tail the onion and remove the dry outer skin, but do not chop it up. Instead, push the cloves into the onion. This makes it easy to remove the cloves after cooking.
The second onion is chopped in the usual way.
The last step in preparation is to make the stock. One stock cube is enough for the soup as the other ingredients are full of flavour.
Pour the stock into a large pan and add all the prepared ingredients: the carrots, celeriac, the onion studded with cloves, bay leaves, and chopped onion.
The soup is now ready for cooking. Place the soup over a high heat and bring to the boil. When boiling, turn the heat down and allow the soup to simmer for about 15 minutes. The pot smells lovely thanks to the flavour released by the cloves.
At the end of the cooking time, I like to check that the vegetables have fully softened, either by eating, or by checking that a fork pushes easily inside.
Before blending, the cloves and the bay leaves need to be removed using a slatted spoon. Keeping the onion whole makes this much easier, as it does not fall apart during cooking.
Once the cloves are removed, the onion can be chopped and adding back into the soup.
The soup takes a minute or two to blend with a handheld blender, and during blending will turn a distinctive burnt orange colour thanks to the carrots.
The soup has a lovely thick consistency.
I suggest preparing and eating the soup on the same day, to best enjoy the sweet flavour given by the cloves. The soup can be stored in the fridge for several days, but this is at the risk of losing the aromatic clove flavour.
If you like making enough soup to enjoy over a few days, it may be better to leave out the cloves and follow the same recipe for a more traditional carrot soup.
The soup is delicious either way.