Autumn is now in full swing here in Wales, the mornings are growing cold and, according to some, snow isn’t too far away. With the weather in mind, soup appears to be the most sensible meal to opt for, particularly when the evening menu features a roast chicken. Not only is this soup incredibly comforting, it also brings with it all the health benefits of its fragrant ingredients. Ginger, for instance, is known to have many health benefits, from pain relief to prevention of nausea. It isn’t widely used in herbal remedies for nothing, you know.
This is my own recipe and a jolly fine one at that, though I can’t admit to having had the brainwave myself. Indeed, one of my favourite past-times when out food shopping with my dear mother is to cast my eye over all the expensive soup they stock. Thai Carrot Soup sounded so delicious that I simply had to give it a try, and the result was rather delicious. The flavour of this soup is subtle, though at the same time ever present and distinctive – which I suppose is the quality of most fragrant ingredients. The key to making a successful Thai soup is not to be scared of adding what would usually be considered a shocking amount of punchy flavour – they will be mellowed out once the coconut milk has been added. In fact, if any less than the amount suggested in the recipe is added then one may find oneself a little glum.
It appears to me that rather a lot of people hold the misconception that soup is watery and not a worthy selection for a main meal. I used to be one of these detestable people and the problem appears to be tinned soups which are blended to within an inch of losing any texture they once had. I urge anyone who maintains this opinion to try making their own – you will be pleasantly surprised. My apologies if I just described you as detestable, indulging in this blog automatically induces me to rescind any potentially hurtful remarks that may previously have been uttered.
Thai Carrot Soup
• 500g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
• 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
• 1 swollen thumb sized piece of ginger
• 3 cloves of garlic
• 1 stick of lemongrass
• 2 red chillies
• The stalks of a small bunch of coriander
• 1 tsp ground turmeric
• 1 tsp vegetable bouillon
• A pint of the finest tap water
• 400ml coconut milk
• 1 lime, the juice thereof
• Fresh coriander finely chopped, to serve
1. Blend the ginger, lemongrass, garlic, chillies and coriander, together with a drizzle of oil. In a little more oil fry this paste in a large pot along with the turmeric, proceed to add the carrots and onions and cook for a few minutes. Cover the vegetables and spices with water, add the bouillon and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
2. Once the carrots are tender stir in the coconut milk and blend in a food processor. Once the soup is of a rustic consistency return it to the heat and add the lime juice, season to taste. Serve in a bowl with a little fresh coriander, bread is entirely optional.
Cost: The entire pot of soup should, with effective shopping methods, cost around £2.50 to make. When you consider that this soup warms, fills and does wonders for your health that really isn’t such a bad price. Oh and a small pot of this at the supermarkets costs £2.