Ingredients

1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 large onion, chopped
625 g (14 lb) carrots, thinly sliced.
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
50 g (2 oz) easy-cook white long-grain rice
1.2 litres (2 pints) vegetable stock
salt and pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds,

Instructions

1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary.
2.Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and fry over a medium heat, stirring, until softened.
3.Stir in the carrots, crushed cumin seeds and turmeric and try for 2-3 minutes to release the cumin flavour and colour the onions.
4.Stir in the rice, then add the stock and a little salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
5.Pour into the slow cooker pot, cover with the lid and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until the carrots are tender.
6.Purée the soup while still in the slow cooker pot with a stick blender.
7.Alternatively, transfer to a freestanding blender and purée, in batches if necessary, until smooth, then return to the slow cooker pot and reheat on high for 15 minutes.
8.Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed, then ladle the soup into bowls.
9.Top with spoonfuls of the yogurt and a little mango chutney, and serve with poppadums, if liked.
10.FOR SPICED PARSNIP SOUP, fry the onion as above, replacing the carrots with 625 g (14 lb) halved and thinly sliced parsnips and adding 1 teaspoon each ground turmeric, cumin and coriander and a 3.5 cm (12 inch) piece of peeled and finely chopped fresh root ginger.
11.Continue as above.

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