Thai-Style Carrot Soup
Carrots and curry were made for each other. Michael Voltaggio’s cold carrot salad with Thai flavors at Ink., in Los Angeles, is so superbly crafted that I thought about it for days after trying it. At home I don’t do anything with liquid nitrogen or as many bells and whistles as Michael does in his restaurant. Nor should you, that’s the joy of dining out, to see what great chefs can do. On the home front, I love taking that inspiration and creating dishes like this carrot soup.
Cream of Carrot Soup with Ginger & Curry
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup minced shallot
- 1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek or other Asian chile sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon shrimp or anchovy paste
- 2 kaffir lime leaves or 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- Kosher salt
- 3 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped (about 5 large carrots)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3/4 cup fresh carrot juice
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- One 14-ounce can coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Chopped cilantro and lime wedges, for serving
In a small skillet, toast the coriander seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. In a large saucepan, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the toasted coriander seeds, shallot, ginger, curry powder, sambal oelek, garlic, shrimp paste and kaffir lime leaves and season with salt. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring until fragrant and the vegetables are softened, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, broth, juice and sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the carrots are very tender, about 30 minutes.
Working in batches, carefully puree the hot soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Strain the soup through a medium sieve and return it to the saucepan. Stir in the coconut milk and lime juice and bring to a simmer. Season the soup with salt and white pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with lime wedges.
MAKE AHEAD The soup can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently before serving.