Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Carrot and Coriander Soup

At last, the weather is cooling off a bit in the evenings (even though we are still in the 70’s during the day). Close enough - it’s “soup weather” as far as I’m concerned. Anything below 60 and I’m there. Time to start firing up the soup pot!

In my last post I mentioned a soup I had made the same evening as the Thai curry. It was very tasty and it works nicely served before Thai or perhaps Indian dishes, but this soup could really be eaten with just about anything. It’s pretty versatile.

The orange from the carrots makes it visually interesting and the addition of coriander, not just the ground spice but the fresh variety called cilantro, make for a nice combination of sweet and savory, one of my favorite.

Carrot and Coriander Soup

Serves 4-6.

1 lb. carrots, preferably young and tender
1 Tbsp coconut oil
3 Tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, sliced, plus 2-3 pale leafy celery tops
2 small potatoes, chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
2-3 tsp. ground coriander
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup milk (I used unsweetened coconut milk)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Trim the carrots, peel if necessary and cut into chunks. Heat oil together with 2 Tbsp of the butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and fry the onion over low heat for 3-4 min. until slightly softened but not browned.

Cut the celery stalk into slices. Add the celery and potato to the onion in the pan, cook for a few minutes and add the carrots. Fry over low heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, and then cover. Reduce heat even further and sweat for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally so the vegetables do not stick to the bottom.

Add the stock, bring to a boil and then partially cover and simmer for about 8-10 minutes until the carrots and potatoes are tender.

Remove 6-8 tiny celery leaves for garnish and finely chop the rest (about 1 Tbsp. once chopped). Melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan and fry the coriander for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, add the chopped celery tops and fresh cilantro and fry for about a minute. Set aside.

Process the soup in either a food processor or blender, or use an immersion blender right in your saucepan, until the soup is smooth. Stir in the milk, coriander mixture and seasoning. Heat gently, taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve garnished with the reserved celery leaves.

For a bit of extra zing, add a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice just before serving.

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