Honey-roasted carrot, coriander and ginger soup with crunchy chickpea croutons
This week has started off with a huge chill down here in Tasmania. There is finally a light coating of snow on the mountain, and you can definitely feel it in the air. I can’t complain though – it’s been a relatively mild winter so far so I’m counting my blessings that it’s taken until nearly July for the winter chill to set in. We live in an old house that’s not very kind when it’s cool outside – the walls and doors are lined with cracks and gaps and the cold air finds its way in fairly easy, so when it cools down outside, we crank the heaters, throw on our thermal underwear (we’re all about high fashion over here ;) and try to put off leaving the lounge-room where the heater lives unless absolutely urgent.

Honey-roasted carrot, coriander and ginger soup with crunchy chickpea croutons

As I sit here writing this now, I have the heater blasting, a cup of tea in one hand and a warm little dog who doubles as a heating device snuggled up on my other. The only thing that can warm me more (save for a holiday somewhere hot and exotic) is a delicious warming bowl of soup, and low and behold – that’s exactly what I’m serving up for you today.

One reason that I’m sharing this soup is that it’s a great example of how using a simple cooking technique (roasting) and adding in a few flavourings (honey, coriander and ginger) can turn a few humble carrots into one of the most rich and delicious soups you have tried in a long time. This soup started out as a carrot, coriander and ginger soup that B’s mum made for us one night. It was really simple and tasty, so I’m including the recipe for that as well as it makes a quick, delicious midweek meal, however if you have the extra time, I strongly suggest you take the extra time to roast the carrots – it adds another level of flavour and transforms the soup from being just “good” to really standing out with a definite wow factor. This would make the perfect starter to impress guests at your next dinner party.

Honey-roasted carrot, coriander and ginger soup with crunchy chickpea croutons

Honey-roasted carrot, coriander and ginger soup with crunch chickpea croutons

6 large carrots, washed and roughly chopped
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp raw honey

1 cup vegetable stock
1 2/3 cups water
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 cup coconut milk

Roasted chick peas
1 can chickpeas, drained and rubbed
1 tsp olive oil
Salt
Paprika

Chopped fresh coriander and extra coconut milk, to serve

Preheat oven to 205 C || 400 F

Combine coconut oil and honey in a small bowl until combined (you make need to place the bowl over another bowl filled with hot water, depending on how cool it is inside your kitchen). Place the carrots in a roasting pan and pour the mixture over, using a spoon to coat the carrots. Place in the oven and bake 40 – 50 minutes turning every 15 or so minutes. The baking time will depend on how big you cut the carrots – you want them to start turning a nice golden brown, but not burning.

In the meantime, drain the chickpeas and then place in a dry teatowl and rub to remove the excess moisture. This should also peel of some of the chickpea skins – discard any that come loose. Spray the chickpeas lighlty with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and paprika. Bake around 45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. You want the chickpeas to be dried through and crunchy. They should also start to brown, but keep a close eye on them toward the end to ensure they don’t burn.

Add cooked carrots to a large pot over medium heat with the spices and liquids. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and stir through the coconut milk. Allow to cool a little then purée either using a stick blender or stand blender. You may like to add up to 1/2 cup extra water at this stage depending on how thick/thin you want the consistency of the soup.

Serve topped with the chickpea croutons and freshly chopped coriander

Serves 3 – 4

 

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Simple carrot, chickpea, coriander and ginger soup

6 large carrots, washed and roughly chopped
2 cups vegetable stock
1.5 cups water
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 can chickpeas, drained and rubbed

Chopped fresh coriander and extra coconut milk, to serve

Add the carrots to a large pot over medium heat with the spices and liquids. Simmer for 25 minutes, then remove from heat and stir through the coconut milk. Allow to cool a little then purée either using a stick blender or stand blender. Return to the pot over low heat, add the chick peas and allow to simmer 5 minutes before stirring.

Serve topped with freshly chopped coriander

Serves 3 – 4

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