There’s something comforting about reaching to the back of the cupboard for a pestle and mortar, blowing off the dust and grinding aromatic spices. It’s not something I do often, I prefer ready-ground spices for convenience, but the dewy, complex flavour of cardamom is worth the extra effort.
I’m a long time fan of carrot and coriander soup, but often feel it lacks a little something. Something to bring out the sweetness of the carrots and the green- notes of the coriander. And today I craved something creamy and rich, with a kick to warm up in this cold snap.
This soup doesn’t disappoint. On first taste, it’s creamy, sweetness is balanced with fresh coriander, before the cool, dewy flavour of cardamom meets the kick of chilli. It’s everything a winter warming soup calls for. The green flecks of coriander throughout remind us that spring is just around the corner.
This is one of my favourite recipes; delighted to share it with you.
10 cardamom pods
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
6 medium carrots, chopped roughly
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
800ml vegetable stock
1 can coconut milk
30g (generous handful) coriander leaves, chopped finely
Pinch of sea salt and pepper
1. Split the cardamom pods and put the seeds in a pestle and mortar. Press until finely ground. (I promise this step is worth it!)
2. Heat the oil, onion, garlic and ginger in a large pan over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the onion has softened. Add the chopped carrots, ground cardamom, cumin and chilli flakes and cook for a further 2 minutes.
3. Pour in the vegetable stock, reduce the heat to low-medium and place a lid over the pan. Simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for a further 10-12 minutes, until the carrot has softened.
5. Transfer the soup mixture into a high-powered blender and blend until completely smooth. Stir through the chopped coriander and season to taste with sea salt and pepper.