Carrot and Coriander Soup

Once upon a time I used to be a true hater of coriander. I really found it difficult to eat and just couldn’t understand why anyone would deliberately ruin their food by adding such a horrible ingredient. For years I managed to avoid eating it and would check with restaurant staff before ordering any food to ensure my dish was coriander-free. It always was, well that was until I went travelling through South East Asia.

See the thing with Asian food is, they LOVE coriander! The way I saw it was that I could either ask for coriander-free food which could quite possibly lead to major confusion, potentially resulting in a dish containing extra coriander… or I could just learn to deal with it. I went with the second option as the only thing worse for me than coriander, was the risk of even more coriander.

After four months of travelling and plenty of coriander later, my hate towards this fragrant herb had somewhat faded. By no means was I a coriander fan, but for the first time in my life I was finally able to tolerate it. I was, however, looking forward to a diet containing slightly less coriander for a while… and then I met my partner, who just so happened to be the biggest coriander lover in the world! Since this day I have pretty much been forced into eating more and more of the herb and can now proudly call myself a real coriander fan and cannot understand how I used to hate it!

Since then I’ve started to eat more foods which I used to “hate” and have actually found out through this that there really aren’t many foods out there that I don’t like. I think it’s important to re-try foods every so often that we think we don’t like. Our taste buds are forever changing and adapting as we grow older, and a food that you may have hated as a child may well turn out to be your favourite food as an adult. This soup is therefore a celebration of one of my new favourite ingredients!

Carrot and Coriander Soup

Ingredients:

(Serves 6)

3 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
150g butternut squash, cut into chunks
1 large potato, peeled and cut into chunks
Half an onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
800ml good quality vegetable stock
100ml creme fraiche
25g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch of fresh nutmeg
Salt and fresh black pepper

Method:

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over a low heat. Add onion and garlic and gently fry until soft making sure it doesn’t brown.
  2. Add in the carrot, butternut squash, potato and ground spices and mix well. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Cover for 20 minutes or until all veg is soft and then remove from heat.
  3. Pour in the creme fraiche and 2/3rd’s of the fresh corainder and blitz into a smooth consistency using a hand blender. Season with salt and fresh black pepper and mix well.
  4. Serve with fresh coriander sprinkled on top and a fresh chunk of bread on the side for dunking!

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