Carrot and Coriander Soup

Jake uses his blending skills.

As we all know by now, Jake loves carrots. So whenever I see a tasty looking recipe involving these delicious little orange devils I take note and begin to plot the next meal. This recipe comes courtesy of my favorite cookbook, “The Complete Encyclopedia of Vegetables and Vegetarian Cooking” and it gave Jake and I the perfect chance to use our new-ish blender. I say new”ish” because Jake actually gave it to me for my birthday back in May. Then we had to move, so we didn’t bother getting it out of the box. Then Jake left for Alaska for the summer and I felt like I should wait till he was back to use our new blender. That way we could experience our first real blender together. Now, I’m always healthily skeptical of soups that call for blending. I like a little bit of chunkiness in my soup so most of the time I use a potato masher instead. But so far there are two veggies that I have found really need to be blended in a soup: peas and carrots. So we hauled out our lovely shiny blender for this one.

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.

Carrot and Coriander Soup

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