London is one of the food capitals of the world and I always enjoy visiting and seeing new culinary ideas in action. I was in London last weekend and had the most divine curried carrot gazpacho served with a dollop of clotted cream - well that bit I fished out because it is dairy, but it was still divine.
So I set to trying to replicate the idea. We all are familiar with carrot and coriander soup, but supermarket coriander has become flavourless and soapy, and supermarket carrot and coriander soup is now one of those ubiquitous and slightly boring flavours available in cartons in the refrigerated section. But this vegan recipe is so different. It will absolutely zing your tastebuds and make you fall in love again with this old favourite. I add the raw carrot juice at the end of the cooking, and that adds freshness, extra vitamins and anti-oxidants - all so important in an anti-CanSur diet.
Carrots have long been considered healthy - helping you 'see in the dark' as they are rich in Vitamin A. They are also rich in anti-oxidants and dietary carotenoids that have been shown to have anti-CanSur effects especially with prostrate, lung and colorectal CanSurs.
Orange carrots are relatively new, as the colour was developed by Dutch growers in the 16th and 17th Century in honour of their national colour - orange (think William of Orange). Increasingly, the original so-called 'heritage' carrots are increasingly available in colours of red, purple and yellow, each with their own range of phytonutrients. Purple carrots for example, are rich in anthocyanin which may protect against bladder CanSur, and red carrots are rich in lycopene, a phytonutrient that protects against some kinds of CanSur.
In Asia, coriander root is used in curry pastes - especially Thai - and it has a real intensity of flavour. I buy packs of coriander root from Asian stores and keep in my freezer until required (available online too), but in the past I have used the well-washed roots from potted supermarket coriander when I have run out. I used minced coriander root in this delicious gazpacho together with gorgeous coriander sprouts from my supplier @homegrownsomeret. Home Grown Somerset produce some really exciting vegetable and herb sprouts that pack a flavourful punch. If you live in the area check them out.
This soup is best made the day before serving to allow the flavours to develop. As it is served cold, you might need to dilute with some filtered water to thin it out a little. But on a cold day, if you want a warm soup, heat gently without boiling.
Serves 6 700 g organic carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves organic garlic, chopped
120g organic Asian shallots
2 inch piece of organic ginger, grated
1 - 2 tsp finely chopped coriander root (if using)
1 tsp curry powder (I used a Sri Lankan blend)
1 heaped tsp organic coriander seeds
1 scant tsp organic dried crushed chilli (or less if you want less spicy)
500 mls vegetable stock or 1 tbs Organic Marigold stock powder and 500 ml filtered water
400 ml tin of organic coconut milk
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt or to taste
2 tbs organic coconut oil
juice of one organic lime
250 ml organic carrot juice coriander sprouts or chopped coriander to garnish
pumpkin seeds to garnish
lime quarters to serve
** 1 cup Healing Intent
1. Dry fry the coriander seed until it just begins to pop and put into a pestle and mortar and crush lightly. This brings out the spicy citrus fragrance of the coriander, which is essential for this dish.
2. Melt the coconut oil and add the chopped shallots, spices, coriander root (if using) ginger and garlic and gently saute for about 2 minutes and then add the carrots and cook over a low heat for about 4 minutes. Add the stock and coconut milk and simmer gently until the carrots are just tender. Do not cook the carrots to a mush or else you will lose their bright colour and it will change the flavour.
3. Blend in a Vitamix or quality blender until really smooth. Add the lime juice, salt and carrot juice and blend again and taste and adjust seasoning, adding more lime juice if required. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours until chilled. Serve garnished with coriander and pumpkin seeds and some extra lime.
** Healing Intent: when cooking foods to heal the body it is important to set your intent. The best way to do this is imagine that you are cooking this dish for yourself or for someone you love who is very ill and that this dish is the only thing that will help in their healing. You will find that the way you handle the food will change, and will not only result in a better dish, but you will feel the food actually nourishing your body and spirit.