Curried carrot and tomato soup
A veggie-packed soup with a slightly exotic twist.
I was looking for an easy-going soup recipe. Sifting through my papers, I discovered this one. It uses carrots and tomatoes, with an Asiatic twist. I had plenty of carrots in the refrigerator. The open-air market was full of beautiful carrots last week when I was there; they’re big and sweet at this time of year, having had some cold weather to bring out their best.
The bright colors of the spicy soup promise comfort and warmth, and its flavors match that promise. Ginger and garlic bring a little heat to the mouth. Curry adds depth to the sweetness of carrots, and coconut milk balances acidity from the tomatoes. In other words, you’ll taste layers of flavors in every spoonful. The soup might need a pinch of sugar if the tomatoes prove a bit acidic. You’ll have to taste and judge.
My husband, not a fan of tomatoes in any form, enjoyed this smooth, blended soup and asked that I make it again.
I urge you to use cilantro (coriander leaves), not parsley, in this soup. The sharply herbal taste of cilantro adds just that top note that ties the soup together. If you happen to dislike cilantro, substitute julienned basil leaves.
For your convenience, it’s worth noting that one 8.5 oz. can of coconut milk (250 ml) gives you the amount you need. While vegetable or chicken stock add even more value to the soup, a water base makes fine soup, too. I myself make this soup with water, considering that the vegetables and curry make a small stock right in the pot.
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 heaping teaspoon freshly grated ginger root or 1 teaspoon ground dried ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 shallot or small red onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon red or yellow curry paste, or 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 6 carrots
- 1 3/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups water
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Pinch of sugar, optional
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 large, ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger root or ground dried ginger
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (coriander leaves)
- 1 onion, chopped (optional)
Peel and grate the carrots. The grating disk of your food processor makes short work of this step.
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic and shallot. Cook 1 minute or until the aroma rises.
Add curry. Cook and stir a few seconds.
Add tomatoes, carrots, water or stock, then salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low.
Cook 30 minutes or until the carrots are soft.
Remove from heat and blend the soup with a stick blender until very smooth.
Add the coconut milk. Put the pot back on medium heat and cook 3 minutes longer.
Taste for seasoning. If the soup seems a little too acid from the tomatoes, stir a pinch of sugar in. It should be spicy, leaving a warm taste in the mouth.
Mix all the topping ingredients. Spoon some onto each bowl of soup, and serve with warm, crusty bread on the side.