One of my fondest food memories of all time is when we used to buy carrot and coriander soup from the Marks and Spencer in Cambridge, England. We’d pick it up on cold, rainy days then bring it home amongst all our other groceries. It was sold in little cartons. Quick to heat and make ready, all we needed to go with it was a little garlic bread, or a grilled ham sandwich. It was perfect on those days we were dead tired, or fighting off a cold, or just stressed-out. It was always just so soothing. So restoring.
It wasn’t long after we moved back to the U.S., that I started to miss my favorite comfort food.
It’s amazing how the most humble of ingredients, prepared properly, can make a gourmet meal. Incidentally, that’s cilantro. The British call it coriander.
You will need:
2 large carrots, sliced
1 medium white or yellow onion, sliced
3 Tbs olive oil
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
32oz. chicken broth. I prefer Swanson boxed broth for this recipe.
1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream
salt – see below
Large bunch coriander/cilantro
Nearly every soup in the world starts with an onion. In this case, one medium onion, chopped. Sometimes when I don’t know what to cook I’ll just chop and onion and then look in the fridge to see what else I might be able to chop, and before you know it, we have dinner. Never be afraid to just chop an onion. See what happens. You’ll be surprised.
After that onion is chopped you have a choice on what kind of fat to saute it in. You can pretty well count that every soup will have some sort of fat in it too. Sometimes I use bacon grease. Sometimes I use butter. Sometimes I use goose fat. Have you tried goose fat? I’m going to have to write a post on that. I’m practically married to goose fat. I buy a whole goose and roast it, and the fat lasts for months in the fridge.
For this carrot coriander soup I chose olive oil. This soup is creamy, but it’s not too heavy. Olive oil is perfect. 3 tablespoons for this recipe.
So, my onions are sautéing in the olive oil (med-hi heat), and I’m stirring them a little, and I chop two carrots. These are big carrots. So, let’s just say 2 cups of chopped carrots. This is not the kind of recipe where you use up old carrots that are limp and wrinkly. You really need good, fresh, juicy carrots for this recipe. You can roast the old limp, wrinkly ones. In enough olive oil and with plenty of salt under about 425 degrees F, you have some resurrected carrots. So buy some nice carrots for this recipe and save the old ones to roast.
So throw the carrots in to saute with the onions and olive oil and pour in 32 oz. of chicken broth. Like fats, you have a choice here on what kind of broth you’ll use. Even chicken broth is a very diverse animal. There’s homemade light, homemade dark, bullion paste, and on…. For a recipe like this where I want the outcome to be light, yet flavorful, I’ll use the boxed chicken broth. Swanson. And it’s easy.
While the carrots and onions are simmering in the chicken broth, start working on your potatoes. Two medium potatoes, peeled and chopped.
Add the potatoes to the simmering mixture of carrots and onions. Turn the heat down to about medium low and put the cover on the pot. Leave it to cook for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
Transfer the whole, hot mixture to a food processor and puree.
You might need to puree in a few batches. I got all gung-ho and pureed the whole lot at once, and it overflowed. Oh well. I have used immersion blenders in the past, but I always burn out the motor. You’re supposed to take your soup off the heat and let it cool a little before you use an immersion blender, but I always think I can get away with just plunging it into a boiling pot and letting ‘er go. Breaks it every time. I think there’s a new fancy immersion blender that will withstand boiling liquids. I may have to check that out.
After you puree your soup, transfer it back to the pot and season with salt.
I use the pink Himalayan salt. I love it. It adds so much.
Next, add the cream and the cilantro. This is the fun part.
When that coriander (cilantro) hits the hot soup, the fragrance will float up. It’s amazing. Delightful, even. Breathe deep.
I added about 1/2 cup cream. Maybe more. I recommend adding exactly as much as you want. Taste it. Look at it. Just decide what’s right for you.
You can serve this with day-old garlic foccocia bread like I did here. This was the bread I was making last night while I was writing my cupcake post. I had made some olive oil bread dough, and my toddler climbed on the counter and dumped a whole bunch of garlic powder in the bowl. So, surprise! It’s garlic bread. It actually turned out really amazing. I baked it with rosemary and parmesan cheese. I hope I’ll have time to post the recipe tomorrow.
Anyway, the soup is so good you can use day-old bread for dipping and it’s still amazing.
Or you can jar it up and keep it in the fridge for about a week. I love having homemade soups in the fridge. It completes me. It completes me…..
Because I can just heat up a bowl in the microwave and make a quick open-faced sandwich for an amazing bistro-style meal. This was my husband’s lunch today. I made the open-faced grilled sandwich with Toscano bread, butter, pastrami, ham, provolone, and smoked gouda. Green onions for garnish.
Thanks for reading this post. Take care. Ta.