Monday, January 12, 2015

Carrot, Coconut & Cardamom Soup... conspiring to comfort !

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I am studiously avoiding the bathroom scales because I know that after a Christmas of feasting it will more than likely say: “Gerroff, ya great lump!”
I got brilliant advice from a friend on how to lose weight instantly: “Turn the scales back 5kg on the 1st of January!” Unfortunately my bathroom scales are digital and they refuse to tell even the whitest of white lies. L If I’m to swap the slightly cuddlier post-Christmas me for a healthier lower-fat me ‘lite’, then it will be down to diet and exercise.

Luckily, with the turn of the year (and following multiple overdoses of chocolate truffles, mince pies, Christmas cake ...) I am craving healthy stuff – winter salads, green vegetables al dente, and soup, lots of lovely warming soup.
Today it is bitterly cold so I’m thinking... the sweetness of carrots, I’m thinking ... the warmth of cardamom ... the fresh zing of orange zest. So far, so good (tasty and reasonably healthy). However... I can’t quite leave behind the craving for richness against the harshness of winter, so I’m thinking a great big comforting swirl of nutty, creamy coconut milk.

The response from my coconut-detesting taste-tester?  “Oh ! That’s good !”
Healthy stuff...
 
For 6 - 8 portions of sunny soup that will surprise even a coconut-hater you will need...
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive (or 15g butter)
3 pods of cardamom, seeds only, crushed
½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest (orange part only)
500g carrots, (prepared weight), peeled and sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 small clove of garlic, crushed
750ml good quality chicken stock
1 x 400ml tin of unsweetened coconut milk
Salt and white pepper to taste 

Finely chopped coriander leaf or parsley to serve, and some crusty white bread or a delicious nutty wholemeal bread won't hurt

 
Method
Place the olive oil (or butter) into a medium saucepan over a medium heat and add the crushed cardamom seed. Fry gently for about a minute before adding the orange zest, carrots, onion and garlic. Stir to coat in the oil (or butter), then turn down the heat to low.
Cover and cook gently without colouring for about 15 minutes, stiring every few minutes (if the vegetables appear to be sticking, add a little more oil or butter and make sure the heat is low enough – if the vegetables are sizzling, the heat is too high).
Next, add the chicken stock and unsweetened coconut milk. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover, and leave to cook gently for a further 15 minutes.
Finally, puree the soup – a stick blender is the perfect tool for this job. Taste and add salt and a little white pepper if necessary.
Serve with a sprinkling of finely chopped parsley or corriander leaf, or get posh and instead serve with parsley or corriander leaf oil artfully dotted on top.
Tuck in!
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11 comments:

Angie Schneider said...

LOL that's a good idea of weight-loss! This is so creamy and comforting. I love the add of cardamom.

wok with ray said...

Can't go wrong with this delicious soup and coconut milk always add richness to the flavor. Happy New Year, Hester! :)

Magnolia Verandah said...

Some of my favourite flavours all rolled into one here. Soups are great for weight loss minus the fresh bread (which I am addicted to!)

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...

No matter what the fads say, if you eat more calories than your body spends, you'll pack on pounds. It's always about food choices and portion size - no matter how much I want it to be different. Except for my father. He was skinny as a stick his entire life and could eat more than any two people I knew. I wanted his genes SO badly. Not to be.

I love a wonderful soup like this but then I like soup with a nice crusty roll and maybe some butter. Endless battle! :)

Anne@FromMySweetHeart said...

Hester...I cannot think of any better combination of flavors in my soup! It's been so cold and wet here and I've been living on soup these past days. This is definitely on my must make list!

Bam's Kitchen said...

This soup looks so cozy! Today is is cold, damp and rainy in Hong Kong and they are running the air-conditioning in many offices. How crazy is that? I know your soup would warm from the inside out. thanks for stopping by. Take care, BAM

Jill @Mad About Macarons said...

Comfort food at its best. Hester, this is my kind of lunch just now and what a lovely cosy idea to add some coconut for extra sunshine. Love the look of that loaf to go with it, too. You're definitely brave with the scales. I refuse to even get on them until around February!

Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself said...

This soup is perfect for those rainy days when you just want to series binge! :P

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

dentistvschef said...

Damn delicious!!!
just perfect for my rainy days lately here in Palembang

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Dear Hester, have missed your posts dear friend - how are you doing these days? Hope life is good to you! Your Carrot and Coconut Soup with Cardamon sounds like comfort-style food at its best and it has such a gorgeous sunny and warm color!
Sending you hugs from afar,
Andrea

Fergus Jordan said...

On a cold day like today this would be lovely, great recipe, thanks!