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Carrot, Thyme & Parmesan Soup with Carrot Top Pistou

Parmesan may be the most umami ingredient in Western cooking. Never throw out parmesan rinds – keep them in your freezer and add to every soup you make this winter. Allow the rind to simmer in the broth and remove it before you blend or serve.

Carrot, Thyme & Parmesan Soup with Carrot Top Pistou

Serves 4

60g unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
1kg Dutch carrots, peeled, tops reserved, chopped
4 thyme sprigs
1.25 litre chicken or vegetable stock
1 parmesan rind
extra parmesan, grated, to serve

Carrot Top Pistou

1 cup carrot top fronds
½ cup chervil
1 garlic clove
1 tsp chilli flakes
50g parmesan, crumbled
½ lemon, juice only
2 tbsp olive oil

Melt butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until leek is very soft.

Add carrots and thyme and stir to coat, then cover with a lid and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 8 minutes until just tender.

Remove lid and add chicken stock and parmesan rind. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes until very tender.

Remove from heat and discard thyme sprigs and parmesan rind. Blend until smooth. Keep warm.

To make the pistou, place carrot tops, chervil, garlic, chilli flakes and parmesan in a mortar and pestle with ½ teaspoon of salt. Roughly pound. Stir in lemon juice and olive oil.

Divide soup among serving bowls and top with the pistou and parmesan.

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