there are plenty of odd dishes that brits love. at least, it would be odd to anyone else BUT the brits. for example: steak & kidney pie. or welsh rarebit. or pretty much anything you eat for dessert at christmas. (i was going to put bread & butter pudding here, but decided not to for fear of starting a riot) but something a little less intimidating and weird (but an odd combo nonetheless) is carrot & coriander soup. this is something i had never tasted nor heard of until i stepped back onto british soil. literally - i came to visit phil in london for the first time in april of 2008 and he made it for me on my first night. strangely enough, i don't think i've had it since. but we made it last night again - using gorgeous carrots and fresh coriander that we picked up at borough market yesterday.
obviously, this soup isn't for the coriander-hater. and in our version, we heated things up a notch with a red chili. but it's such a basic soup that there is plenty of room for adjustments.
carrot & coriander soup
this serves about 4
- one yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
- 6 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 large handful fresh coriander
- 1 tbsp dried coriander
- zest and juice of 1 orange
- 1 pint veg stock
- salt and pepper
- heat up some oil in a large pan and cook the onion until it turns translucent. add the garlic and chili and cook for a few more minutes. throw in the dried coriander at this point and coat everything with this fragrant spice. add more or less to your taste.
- add the carrots and continue to cook until slightly softened. also add the orange zest and juice and stir well.
- pour in the heated vegetable stock and bring to the boil. reduce to a simmer and leave for 20 minutes (at least).
- add the torn up fresh coriander leaves and blend your soup either with a handheld immersion blender or by pouring into a full-size blender. you may sieve and add more stock at this point if you'd like it to be thinner.
- serve with a few fresh coriander leaves on top and some bread.
lesson learned: our super special additions of orange and chili made this soup extra yummy. feel free to experiment with other citrus flavours or spices. it's a wonderful thing on a cold day!