If I had to choose one herb to never go without, for me, it would have to be Coriander. I know that these days everyone is always on about the health benefits of foods and coriander is one that you will find on the top 100 foods with benefits. For me however is not about how it can help with skin complaints or that it can lower cholesterol or even that it may help with blood pressure. It is purely the taste I can say I’ve fallen in love with.
Now like everything else in this world there is always a ying to a yang. I have found that coriander has many yang’s to its ying especially when you consider food with a spicy origin. However it’s best yang must be the humble carrot. No doubt some science is playing a major part here, with a chemical release from the sweet carrots helping to intensive the flavour of the coriander.I however am a simple man and can only say what I like and not why I like it and what I like most with my coriander is carrots. I love nothing more than a simple rustic bread torn off and used to scoop up a large dollop of thick carrot and coriander soup.
Of all the many different soups out there and all the different methods of cooking simple soups I believe the best method is the most simplistic. I have included a recipe here from the bbc.co.uk website but there are many different thousands of similar recipes out there in the interweb. All with different techniques, different ingredients, different methods but the one from the bbc’s website is my favourite.
Gentle fry 1 large onion, chopped, and 1lb of carrots in a small amount of vegetable oil until the onions become translucent and soft. The onions and carrots here don’t need to be uniformly cut as they will all be blitzed later on. You should take your time at this stage and let the carrot release their sweetness.
Add a teaspoon of freshly ground coriander seeds, a pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper. Continue to cook this mix for about 1 minute.
Add some vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Always at this stage it gets far more complicated than it should be. For some the stock should be freshly made by yourself the same day as the soup will be made. For others the stock should be left to cool over night before being added to the soup. While for some adding a stock cube to a jug of freshly boiled water and dissolving before adding to the soup is enough. I’m in the later camp here and prefer to use a stock cube but I do have to admit to going through a few makes to find the one I liked the best.
Continue to simmer the soup for about 30-60 minutes until the carrots are tender but not too soft that they will lose all granulation when finished. Leave to cool for 15mins then blitz with a hand blender until smooth.
Finally, add the all important coriander and serve with chunky, crusty bread.