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RECIPE: Carrot and Coriander Soup

4-medium carrots, cut into chunks 
2-medium potatoes, halved 
1-medium onion, chopped 
1-large clove garlic, chopped 
1-small bay leaf 
1-tbsp freshly chopped parsley 
1-tbsp freshly chopped coriander 
2-tbsp olive oil 
1-vegetable stock cube 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

For the croutons: 
4 tbsp olive oil 
2 slices day-old, thick sliced bread, cut into 1cm cubes 
Freshly chopped coriander leaves to garnish 

Place all the soup ingredients in a pan with 600ml/1 pint water and bring to the boil
Simmer, covered, for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender
Discard the bay leaf and puree the soup in a blender
Add salt to taste and about 300ml/1/2 pint water to give a thick, creamy consistency
Reheat gently
To make croutons, heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium-hot heat and add the bread cubes, stirring until crisp and golden
Drain on kitchen towel
Serve the soup sprinkled with the croutons and fresh coriander.