Recipe for a fragrant creamy soup of Roasted Carrots with Thai seasonings
1 lb (450 g) carrots, cut into narrow 5cm pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil or sesame oil
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed, cut into half and scored lengthwise with a knife several times
1 clove garlic, minced
2.5cm piece fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
6 fresh or dried kaffir lime leaves
2 to 3 red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2/3 teaspoon paprika
2 cups coconut milk
3 1/3 cups vegetable stock, or as needed
1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
juice from 1 lime (2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
fresh ground black pepper
Line a baking tray with foil and preheat an oven to 350F/180C. Toss the carrots in the olive or sesame oil with the coriander seeds, and roast until tender and golden — about 30 minutes. Turn the carrots part way through the cooking time.
Heat the coconut oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and saute for a few minutes to soften. Add the lemongrass and celery and sauté for another 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger and kaffir lime leaves, and fry for another minute. Stir in the chilies, red Thai curry paste, cumin and paprika.
Add the roasted carrots and coriander seeds, coconut milk and vegetable stock. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes, adding more stock as desired. Stir in most of the cilantro as well as the lime juice, salt and pepper. Simmer for another few minutes.
Discard the lime leaves and pieces of lemongrass. Puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a countertop blender until smooth and creamy.
Serve hot garnished with the remaining cilantro and thin slices of fresh chili or a sprinkle of dried chili flakes if desired.
Recipe provided by Sarah Graham, author of Bitten, Smitten and A Foodie Lives Here food blog.