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Carrot and parsley soup

This soup is best made with a subtle, delicately flavoured homemade stock.
Garnish each serving with cheese and mustard toast: cut half a small French loaf into 8 slices. Toast one side of each slice under the grill, then spread untoasted sides with butter and a little made English mustard. Top each slice with grated Cheddar cheese and toast until cheese is bubbling. Place a slice on top of each bowl of soup and hand remaining bread separately.
For a really creamy soup, stir 2 - 3 tablespoons single cream into the soup just before serving.

ingredients

serves 4
500 g (1 lb) carrots, sliced
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
25 g (1 oz) butter
1 onion, finely chopped
600 ml (1 pint) chicken stock
300 ml (1/2 pint) milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper

method

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the carrots and onion and cook gently covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened but not browned.

2. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently, covered, for a further 20 minutes.

3. Allow to cool slightly, then press the soup through a sieve or work in a blender until smooth.

4. Return the pureed soup to the rinsed-out pan and stir in the milk and parsley. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the soup through gently for about 5 minutes.

5. Pour the soup into 4 warmed individual soup bowls and serve at once.

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