Carrot Coriander Soup. Hmmmm…, now that sounds interesting! Well, it is; and I have two stories to tell you about this; one about soup, the other about carrots. Prior to writing this post my carrot knowledge was fairly limited to: carrots are a tasty orange tuber found in the produce section of your grocery store. That’s it!!! Well, that doesn’t really make for a good story does it? So, I began my research into the origins of this popular root vegetable. To my pleasant surprise and yours now, I “unearthed” a wealth of information. But, I digress, and we need to get back to the stories. I first tried carrot coriander soup on a recent trip to Ireland. The site of this tasting: The Danny Mann Pub in Killarney, an inviting place with a warm atmosphere, excellent Irish hospitality, and not to mention a fabulous menu. If you are ever in Killarney, I highly recommend it (both the soup and the Pub!). This soup was so good, that I was inspired to develop my own version. I think I came pretty close in taste and texture. I hope you enjoy it!
And now, How about those carrots? Carrots were first cultivated in the Iranian plateau (Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan) about 1000 years ago. Archaeological evidence however indicates that carrots have been around a lot longer, roughly 5000 years when they were used for medicinal purposes and not food supply. Carrots have also been found depicted in Egyptian temple drawings dating to 2,000 B.C. Egyptian papyrus found in a pharaoh’s crypt also reveal information on medical treatments utilizing carrot seeds. Fast forward a few millennia and historians believe that medicinal gardens in Ancient Rome are believed to have cultivated carrots as an aphrodisiac and also as an antidote for poison. After the fall of the Roman Empire the cultivation of carrots fell by the wayside until it resurfaced again in about 795 A.D. thanks to Charlemagne who included carrots as a crop to cultivate in manorial gardens.
Carrot cultivation reached England between the 11th and the 15th centuries. At this time carrots existed in their ancient variety: off-white or purple. Carrots as we know then today did not come to be until the 16th century. The orange color of our present day carrots is often credited to the Dutch who are believed to have genetically modified the tuber. Carrots were introduced to the Americas in the 16th century Spanish, and became especially popular during WW II.
Carrots are sweet and delicious and a great source of Vitamin A, necessary to keep those peepers healthy!
Ok, so now that you know more about carrots than you care to know, let’s get back to the carrot coriander soup!!
The smooth and creamy texture of this carrot coriander soup, its pleasant aroma, and flavor will please your family’s palate. Carrot coriander soup is healthy, vegan and requires only a few ingredients. I use an immersion blender to break down the solids. If you do not own an immersion blender, a regular blender works just as well. For best results work in batches. In Ireland, this soup, as well as other soups, is served with a traditional Irish brown bread on the side! I find that whole grain bread works just as well.
Carrot Coriander Soup
A sweet and delicate flavored soup that is so easy to make. This Irish inspired dish is very healthy also.
- In a soup pot on medium neat sauté onions and carrots in olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, caraway and ground coriander. Cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil
- Allow to boil for about 5 minutes. Turn heat down and allow to simmer covered for about 20 minutes.
- Check carrots for softness. They should break down when pressed with a fork.
- Using an immersion blender break down the solids moving the blender around to create a smooth texture.
- When the solids have all broken down, add the chopped cilantro and serve.