900g (2lb) carrots, finely diced
1 medium onion, chopped
4 celery sticks, finely chopped
1l (¾ pint) vegetable stock
3 medium-sized eating apples
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 bay leaf
2 tsp castor sugar
¼ large lemon
Salt and pepper
Celery leaves, washed and shredded, to garnish
Place the carrots, onion and celery in a large saucepan and add the stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10mins.
Meanwhile, peel, core and dice 2 of the apples.
Add the apple, tomato puree, bay leaf and caster sugar to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and allow to simmer for 20 mins. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Wash core and cut the remaining apple into thin slices, leaving on the skin. Place the apple slices in a small saucepan and squeeze over the lemon juice. Heat gently and simmer for 1-2 mins until tender. Drain and set aside
Place the carrot and apple mixture in a blender and blend until smooth.
Gently re-heat the soup if necessary and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into warm bowls and serve topped with the reserved apple slices and celery leaves.