Monday, 14 October 2013

It's cold (and rainy) out there: Carrot curry coconut soup for the masses

It's officially autumn! Maybe I should exclude the exclamation mark, as I am not really that fond of cold weather, specially in Belgium, where it seems autumn-winter is an almost ever present season....

Anyway, Sunday was such a horrible, miserable, rainy and cold day that I decided there was only one thing to be done: cook comfort food! And so I did. I took advantage of Pingu sleeping a very nice long morning nap and spent lots of time in the kitchen cooking a delicious and calorific lunch (recipe to come soon)

But then, of course, for dinner I wanted something a bit lighter, but equally warming and comforting. And what better than a nice vegetable soup?

I know, I know, for many "soup" is not compatible with kids. I get it, kids can be fiddly with soup: it's too warm, they don't like the "green bits" floating in it, etc. But this soup is a blended soup, so although it has a few ingredients, there is only one colour and one texture to it, in the form of coconut milk.

We had lots of carrots at home, so carrot soup it was. I wanted to try something a bit different and decided to add a bit of spice (curry powder) and a bit of creaminess to it.

Ingredients (serves 4 big bowls plus 2 small bowls for the kids)

  • olive oil
  • 1 medium size onion, chopped (I used two small ones)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • half a red bell pepper (paprika)
  • 1 kg carrots, peeled and cut
  • 1 l chicken stock (bouillon)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 brick coconut milk (about 250 ml)

The process is very simple and in fact you can apply it to the vegetable of your choice. First you need to put some olive oil in a pan in low to medium gas and cook the garlic, paprika and onion until the onion is translucent. The great thing is that, as you will blend the soup, it does not matter how small you cut the onion, for example. You can do it really fast.

Then add the carrots and let them "sweat" a bit in the pan for a couple of minutes. Add the stock and the curry powder. Put the gas on medium-high and bring to the boil. Once it's boiling, leave to simmer for about 15 minutes or until the carrots are cooked and you can split them using a fork. 

Take out of the stove and blend using a hand-held blender until the soup is really smooth. Then add the coconut milk and blend a bit more. There has to be no lumps on it.

At this point, I think it would be great to add a few chopped coriander leaves on top, but Mr M hates it and the kids are not too fond of green bits floating around, so it was a no go for me.

I served the soup with "croque monsieur" for the kids and something slightly ligther for the grown ups. 

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