Carrot and Coriander Soup
1 pound carrots
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, sliced, plus 2-3 pale leafy celery tops
2 small potatoes, chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
2-3 teaspoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup milk
salt and black pepper
1. Trim the carrots, peel if necessary and cut into chunks.
2. Heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan.
3. Fry the onion over low heat for 3-4 minutes till softened but not browned.
4. Cut the celery stalk into slices. Add the celery and potato to the onion in the pan, cook for a few minutes and then add the carrots. Fry over low heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, and then cover. Reduce the heat even further and sweat for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally so the veggies do not stick to the bottom.
5. Add the stock, bring to a boil and then partially cover and simmer for another 8-10 minutes, until the carrots and potatoes are tender.
6. Remove 6-8 celery leaves for garnish. Finely chop the remaining celery tops.
7. Melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan and fry the ground coriander for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.
8. Reduce the heat, add the chopped celery tops and fresh cilantro and fry for about 1 minute. Set aside.
9. Process the soup in a blender and return to the saucepan.
10. Stir in the milk, coriander mixture, and seasoning.
11. Heat gently, taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve with the remaining celery leaves. Add a little lemon juice before serving for a quirky perky flavor.