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Carrot soup with egg and rice

This is a fairly substantial soup, so serve with a light accompaniment such as Melba toast or a selection of crispbreads.
If cooking raw rice for this dish, you will need 25 g (1 oz) to provide 75 g (3 oz) of cooked rice.
Remove the eggs from the refrigerator 1 hour before using: cold eggs will require a longer time to set.

ingredients

serves 4 - 8
750 g (1 1/2 lb) new carrots, thinly sliced
25 g (1 oz) margarine or butter
600 ml (1 pint) chicken stock
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
150 ml (1/4 pint) milk
75 g (3 oz) cooked rice
4 eggs at room temperature
2 spring onions, finely chopped
150 ml (1/4 pint) single cream

method

1. Melt the margarine in a saucepan, add the carrots and fry gently for 2 - 3 minutes to soften slightly.

2. Add the chicken stock and sugar and season to taste with salt and
pepper. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the carrots are very tender.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and allow mixture to cool slightly, then pour it into the goblet of a blender and work for a few seconds until smooth. Return the puree to the rinsed-out pan and stir in the milk and the cooked rice. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

4. Heat the soup gently until hot but not boiling, then break in the eggs and poach them for about 8 minutes or until they are firm enough to be lifted out with a slotted spoon.

5. Spoon an egg into each of 4 warmed soup bowls and pour over the soup. Sprinkle over the spring onions, swirl in the cream and serve the soup at once.

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