Carrot Soup

1) Saute a large onion in a little butter or oil at the bottom of the soup pan. Sprinkle with black pepper, add a quick slosh of soy sauce and a teaspoon of dried thyme.

2) Add a pound of carrots (or a mixture of carrots and parsnips, swede/rutabaga and turnips. You want at least half carrot), a pint of vegetable stock (if you have it) or water (if you don’t), and an ounce of rice. (Rice can be any kind of white, can be white basmati, red rice and wild rice mixed, but cannot be brown basmati, which takes forever to cook.) Simmer for half an hour.

3) Remove from heat and liquidize. You can freeze it at this point, or keep it for later.

4) Return to heat and adjust seasonings — usually only needs a little more black pepper, especially if you’re about to put cheese in it.

Serve in big bowls, with parsley. Also provide grated cheese and bread. This is wonderful with as much grated Cheddar, Jarlsberg or Lancashire cheese as will dissolve in it, but provided you serve it hot, people can add their own. Serves 3.