I grew up hearing that carrots are good for your eyes. It is true that carrots have a lot of health benefits. Several experiments have shown that beta-carotene and antioxidants, both present in carrots, have either prevented or cured diseases. The benefits to eyesight are less obvious. Unless a person has an existing severe Vitamin A deficiency, eating carrots will not likely have a positive impact on vision. Sorry to dash your hopes, carrot eaters!

So where did all the hype linking eating carrots to improved vision come from? I read that during World War II, the British Royal Air Force started an advertising campaign claiming that the secret to their fighter pilots’ clear, sharp vision was carrot consumption. The reality was that the pilots’ accuracy was due to a new radar system the British wanted to keep secret from the Germans! The rumor, however, spread far and wide and still remains a part of popular culture today.

I don’t know if this is an accurate story or not, but aside from any health benefits, a nice warm carrot soup for winter days is always a good idea.

Serving: 10 people
Prep time: 30 min
Cooking time: 30 min


1kg (2lb) carrots
1 onion
1 garlic clove
3 leeks
2.5 cm (1 inch) fresh ginger
2 granny smith apples
1 cuillère à soupe (1 tbsp) cumin
2 squeezed oranges
1 cuillère à soupe (1 tbsp) olive oil
2 L (4 cups) water
3 chicken stock cubes
Chopped fresh cilantro – Depending on your taste, use one cuillère à café (1 tsp) as a garnish or one cuillère à soupe (1 tbsp) for taste.

Use a pressure cooker if you have one. A normal pot can be used, but the cooking time will be longer.

1- Heat the olive oil in the pot over high heat. Peel and cut the onion into eight pieces. Peel the garlic clove and cut it lengthwise in two to remove the stem. Cut it into big pieces and throw them with the onions in the pot. Stir a little bit. Do not color the onions.

2- Wash the leeks and cut them into large pieces (1.5 cm or ½ inch). Add them in the pot and stir. A bit of the green may be included.

3- Peel the carrots and cut them into large chunks. Throw them in the pot and stir.

4- Peel and cut the fresh ginger into big pieces and throw them in the pot.

5- Peel the apples, remove the cores, and cut them into big pieces and throw them in the pot with the other vegetables. Stir.

6- Add the cumin.

7- Add the water and stock cubes. Cover and let cook until the pressure cooker whistles. If you are using a normal pot, it might take 45 min for the vegetables to be cooked. If too much water evaporates during the cooking, add more water.

8- Remove the pot from the heat and leave it to cool. Remove the lid and use a hand blender to mix the soap. You can also use a food processor or an upright blender.

9- Pour the orange juice in the soup and stir. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat before serving, stirring occasionally.

10- Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with freshly chopped cilantro in the middle, and serve.

Bon appétit!