Nigel Slater’s carrot, tomato and halloumi soup

Peel 1 large or 2 medium-sized onions, chop them roughly, then let them cook over a moderate heat in a large pan with 2 tbsp of groundnut or vegetable oil.

Lightly scrub and roughly chop 400g of carrots. When the onion is soft and translucent, add the carrots. Let them colour very slightly, for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly.

Pour in 1.5 litres of vegetable stock, bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Let the soup cook for about 30 minutes on a low to moderate heat, with the occasional stir.

Roughly chop 500g of ripe tomatoes, put them into a shallow pan over a moderate heat with 3 tbsp of groundnut oil and then let them cook down until they reach a slushy consistency.

Blend the soup to a smooth texture in a blender or food processor, then return it to the pan and keep it warm.

Get a griddle pan hot. Slice a 250g block of halloumi into 4, then brush them lightly with oil and cook them on the griddle pan for 5 minutes or so untll golden, turning once to cook the other side. Stir the tomato mixture into the carrot soup, season with salt and black pepper, then ladle it into bowls.

Break the halloumi into smaller pieces and float them on the surface of the soup. It’ll soften, but not melt. A pinch of sour saltiness with your sweet soup. Serves 4.

I like to make a mint oil to trickle over the surface of the soup. It takes 2 minutes. Put 8 mint leaves into a mortar with a generous pinch of sea salt. Using a pestle (or the end of a rolling pin) mash the leaves and salt to a paste then beat in 3 tbsp of olive oil. Trickle over each bowl of soup as you serve.

Follow Nigel on Twitter @NigelSlater

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