Grilled Lettuce, Carrot Soup
Source: Nigel Slater, Greenfeast: Spring, Summer
Pure flavors for a summer’s day.
A deep-flavored vegetable stock is needed here, and some carrots with plenty of flavor. The bunches of thin, sweet spring carrots have little to offer in terms of flavor, so I suggest using maincrop carrots here.
2 lb 2 oz/1kg carrots
1 quart/1 liter vegetable stock
3 bay leaves 3
6 black peppercorns
2 little gem lettuces
micro greens and herbs (such as cilantro and sorrel), to finish
Roughly chop the carrots. Put them into a large saucepan with the stock, bay leaves, and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Salt lightly, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for twenty minutes until the carrots are soft.
Remove the bay leaves and blend the carrots and their cooking liquor to a smooth purée in a blender or food processor. Return to the saucepan and check the seasoning.
Get a griddle pan really hot. Slice the lettuces in half lengthwise and place, cut side down, on the griddle. Press firmly down with a heavy weight and let cook for six to seven minutes until the cut side is golden brown and starting to crisp.
Spoon the hot soup into bowls, add the grilled lettuces, and finish with the micro greens and herbs.
Reprinted with permission from Greenfeast: Spring, Summer by Nigel Slater, copyright © 2021. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography copyright: Jonathan Lovekin © 2021.