Saturday, 1 March 2008

Variation on Angela Nilsen's Carrot and Coriander Soup

On the way to somewhere else we passed a farm shop and popped in for a quick look. We ended up buying a huge bag of carrots for £2. I think about 4 or 5 kilos!

Coincidentally, last weekend we picked up The Ultimate Recipe Book by Angela Nilsen, featuring a rather handy Carrot and Coriander Soup recipe!

Since we also had a large bunch of coriander leftover from last weekend's Indian feast we decided to make the soup and also to try Nilsen's soda bread (to compare it to the recipe I use currently).

The soup was delicious! I absolutely loved it and Pete really liked it too.

We did adjust the recipe. As per the recipe we stripped the coriander leaves from the stems and put the stems in with the carrots, potato, stock etc. The rest we were meant to half; chopping one half to sprinkle over/ stir in to the soup after blending and blitzing the other with some olive oil into an oily paste to drizzle over the finished soup (with some single cream) once in the bowls, for presentation. Since we were freezing more than half of the soup we decided to put all the fresh coriander leaves into the soup at the blending stage giving us a beautiful greeney-orange soup rather than the bright orange one we would have got otherwise.

Ingredients (adjusted)
• 25g butter
• 1 tbsp sunflower/veg oil
• 1 medium onion
• 3 plump cloves of garlic
• 40-50g coriander, including stems
• 500g carrots
• 100g potatoes
• 1 teaspoon coriander powder
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1.5 pints vegetable stock

Instructions (for adjusted version)
1. Peel and dice onion
2. Peel and chop garlic
3. Peel (or just scrub for young, fresh carrots) and slice or dice carrots
4. Peel and roughly dice potatoes
5. Heat butter and oil in large pan/ stock pot.
6. Gently fry onion and garlic until soft, at least 5 minutes, probably longer.
7. Add carrots, potatoes and coriander stems (don't bother to remove leaves completely from stems, just chop off and throw in the visible stems below the leafy tops) and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8. Add cumin seeds and coriander powder and stir/ mix well for a minute.
9. Pour in stock, bring to boil, lower the heat and cook, covered for about half an hour until carrots and potatoes are soft.
10. Turn off heat and leave to cool for a while.
11. Once cool enough to easily handle stir in coriander leaves and blitz in blender or food processor, in batches if necessary.
12. Season to taste and serve or freeze!

Did I say GORGEOUS?! This is definitely one we'll be making again!

The soda bread was nice enough; lighter than my existing recipe since it had no oatmeal in it at all. But I think I like the oatmeal one a little more and will stick to the recipe I've already been using.

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