Saturday, 10 March 2012

Elegant Carrot Soup

 This soup is a far cry from the hearty soups of Anatolia, based as they are on lentils, bulgur and chickpeas and  designed to be a meal  in their own right. We eat a lot of soup in this house probably like most households in Turkey where soup is a staple. It is even eaten for breakfast in some areas although not in this household I hasten to say.

beautiful velvety carrot soup with a hint of Thai

I like to offer soup as a starter for a dinner party and this one reminds me of my very recent odyssey to Australia as it comes from the fabulous cookbook Northern Beaches Cooks which I mentioned before for a marinated salmon dish. Since my return I have now made this soup no fewer than three times for friends as it has been a big success.

carrots are available in abundance:
another reason for making this soup right now

In the past I would have discarded this recipe as soon as I saw the exotic  ingredient coconut milk but now, amazingly, at least in Istanbul, it is obtainable!  It was exciting enough when fresh ginger hit the markets. It adds a new dimension to one’s culinary repertoire to find that more and more, we can find previously unimaginable items on our very own doorstep!

Ingredients for Elegant Carrot Soup
Serves 4 - 6
40g/2oz butter
5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
here they are, chopped and in the pan
                   1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp mild curry powder
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp grated fresh ginger/zencefil
1 litre/4 cups good quality chicken stock
400ml/13.5fl.oz can coconut milk
Fresh coriander/kişniş to serve (a herb still not easily found here)

grating the fresh ginger

·         Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add carrot, onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently for 4­-5 minutes or until vegetables have just softened.
·         Add curry powder, flour and ginger and cook for a further minute.
·         Stir in stock and coconut milk and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are cooked.
·         Process until smooth, season with salt and pepper and serve hot, topped with fresh coriander.

elegant carrot soup courtesy of Northern Beaches Cooks
Afiyet olsun!
Tip: I recommend straining the soup at the end to ensure that velvety consistency.

Would you like to know which global cuisines ranked the most highly last year in terms of being searched for?  According to BBC Good Food Magazine, in order, they were:
Chinese, Indian, Thai, Mexican, Spanish, French, and Italian.

And sadly, Turkish didn’t feature at all!