Melt the butter gently in a medium
saucepan then add the carrots,
onion and garlic. Cover with a lid
and leave over a low heat, stirring
occasionally, until the vegetables
have softened but not coloured
(about 12 minutes).
Pour in the stock and sprinkle in a
little salt (if using a cube, hold back
on the salt and adjust it at the end).
Bring to the boil and simmer,
partially covered, for 20-30 minutes
or until the vegetables are very soft.
Take off the heat and leave to cool
for a few minutes.
Strain the vegetables through a
sieve set over a bowl. Reserve the
liquid. Transfer the vegetables to a
food processor or blender. Process
until smooth, adding enough of the
strained liquid to make the mixture
turn easily in the machine. Set the
sieve over the cleaned pan and
push the puréed vegetables
through (this step is not essential
but gives the soup a very smooth
finish). Pour in the liquid and stir
well to blend.
Tip in the orange juice and mint
and gently reheat the soup. Stir and
taste to see if more salt is needed,
then pour into warmed bowls. If
you like the idea of the cream,
drizzle a little over the top.