Carrot Coriander Soup


There is seemingly an infinite number of variations of carrot soup. I think it’s a fitting tribute to this humble root vegetable and find myself grateful that it lends itself to partner so well with such a variety of flavours.

Carrot and orange. Carrot and ginger. Carrot and coriander. That’s just for starters…

Soup’s definition as: ‘a liquid food made by boiling or simmering meat, fish or vegetables, with various added ingredients‘ …simply does not do it justice. If you want to think of any kitchen preparation that is so much more than the sum of it’s parts, soup would definitely be it. Soup is nourishment. Soup is comfort.

A swirl of extra virgin olive oil to finish~

We all have our favourite(s). Many of them taking us back to childhood.

I’ve always liked carrots, going back to the days of growing up on a farm. From an early age, we all had our chores to do, and gardening was certainly at the top of the list. From planting the tiny seeds, to the miracle of the first shoots sprouting up, to weeding, to the final harvesting, we took part in and saw the miracle of it all.

My mom made one the most wonderful carrot side dishes I’ve ever come across: creamed carrots. Tender pieces of fresh garden carrots in a creamy, slightly tangy, slightly sweet white sauce – it’s still a family favourite, and requested at holiday dinners. With a tangible amount of comfort associated with the recipe, it takes us back to childhood memories at the dinner table.

Carrot Coriander Soup

When you grind the toasted coriander, you’ll be greeted with a light lemony, floral scent – giving you an indication of the good taste to come. If you use only olive oil in place of the butter, and vegetable stock, this is perfect for meatless Monday. Vegan Monday, for that matter. Use either a blender or stick blender to purée. Makes 4 lovely, comforting servings.

Ingredients:
1 tsp whole coriander seeds
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp butter
1 small onion, diced
1/2 tsp cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups peeled & sliced carrots
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf

Preparation:
In a small skillet over medium heat, dry toast the coriander seeds for about 1 minutes, until fragrant.
Grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and set aside.
In a large pot over medium heat, add the oil & butter and heat to sizzling.
Add the onions, a sprinkle of the salt & pepper, and sauté for about 5 minutes, starting to soften them but without giving them colour.
Add the prepped coriander, cumin and garlic, cook for 1 minute.
Add the carrots, salt, pepper & sugar and put a lid on the pot; let the mix ‘stew’ over medium heat for about 20 minutes; this step will really build & intensify the flavours.
Add the stock & bay leaf and bring to the boil – simmer until the carrots are tender, about another 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, take out the bay leaf and purée using your favourite method – taste and adjust the seasoning for salt & pepper as needed.