Carrot and Coriander Soup. An alternative to Noodle Sandwiches.

Carrot_and_coriander_soupA budget recipe.

I love this soup for several reasons.
1 it is as cheap as you want to make it. 2 Cooked right it is packed with healthy nutrients. 3 It tastes good. 4 It’s a warming hearty meal in the winter. 5 You can have this for lunch or dinner.6 You can freeze meals for the rest of the week. 7 It makes a delicious and fragrant summer meal.

While broke at university my boy was paying 13 pence for packs of noodles and 35 pence for the 3 of the cheapest white bread loaves he could get, each week. 14 packs of noodles = £1.82 pence. He could have got two big bags of carrots for that.
3 times 35 = £1.05. For that he could have purchased a big bunch of Coriander and two potatoes. He might well have had some change too.

The student house he lived in had dried garlic he could have used, and salt and pepper for seasoning. All bought by the guys at the beginning of term. Don’t you just love it? If you are in a student house check any shared cupboards for forgotten things you might be able to use.
If you are not a student and you are on a tight budget this is a good recipe too.

My best wishes to you.

Carrot and Coriander Soup
1 or 2 bags of carrots or ten good sized carrots picked from the shelf.
1 or 2 bulbs of garlic or a good teaspoon of dried garlic
2 medium cooking onions (optional)
1 large potato (optional)
1 to 2 pints of stock. Can be made from a stock cube. I’d suggest a vegetarian one.
A dab of butter or margarine, or if you have it a small slosh of virgin olive oil.
Salt and pepper to taste.
1 bunch of fresh Coriander leaves. These will need to be picked over to get rid of the stalks. Listen to music as you tweak out the woody bits. Only keep the leaves if you have the patience. Dried coriander can be substituted but it’s not as nice. About a teaspoon of dried coriander if you have no access to fresh ought to do the job.
Cut your carrots fine slice. They shouldn’t be too thick.
Dice potato if you have one. Same with the onion. Cut fine.

Peel and chop all necessary ingredients, carrots, potato, onion and garlic.
Make stock in a separate jug.
Slap your butter lump or your coating of olive oil in the bottom of the saucepan. Don’t turn on the cooker until you have added garlic and onion, only then raise the heat until they jiggle about in the pot. Turn heat down at that point and let them sweat. You want them to look transparent before you do anything else. This usually takes about 8 to 10 minutes. If they go brown you soup will taste burned so don’t let them brown.
When you have nice pale onions add carrots, potato if you are using it and give them a swish round the pan before you add your stock.
Once you have added the stock turn the heat up and wait for the stock to boil. Once it begins to bubble you can turn it down a little and put a lid on the pot. Do leave a bit of a gap for steam to escape or you will find yourself mopping up what should be your dinner from the top of the stove.
This soup needs to cook for about ten minutes before you add your coriander. Put the coriander in, give the stuff a stir and replace the lid. More waiting.
You need your vegetables to be squishy soft with this one so test them with a knife. Shove the blade into one of the chunks. You should find it nicely soft. Mind the steam.
If you find the stuff soft you can turn off the heat and let the flavours infuse further while the soup cools from volcanic.
Once the soup has cooled a little you then blitz it with a hand blender. I you don’t have a hand blender use a potato masher or a fork to smooth the lumps.
Taste for seasoning. Dash of salt and pepper if you want them.
Some recipes add milk at this point. I’ve tried it but I don’t think it makes that much difference to the soup’s taste. If you want to add about half a pint of milk. If you do add milk give the pot a good stir.
At this point get a bowl and ladle yourself a good quantity of delicious soup, keep the rest until it has cooled and then the best bit of all is that you can freeze it in the plastic boxes you may well have saved from the beginning of term when you had some money to order take away. 🙂
If you are on a tight budget let the soup become cold and save it in any freezer proof containers that you have.
This soup mix should give you about 3 lunch sized containers and 2 dinner sized containers.

Thanks for reading and if you try this recipe do tell me how it works out. The one thing I can say is you should find it tastier than noodle sandwiches.
Daisy Banks

Image from Wikipedia images under free commons.


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