Serve this soup in little cups with triangles of toasted tortilla on the side. Just cut plain tortillas into triangles, brush with olive oil and bake at 180C/350F/Gas 4 for 8-10 minutes.
2 tablespoons olive oil
450g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
1 star anise bulb
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Indian curry paste
500ml vegetable or chicken stock (fresh or made from a good low-salt stock cube)
400ml coconut milk
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan.
2. Add the carrots and onion and fry for up to 10 minutes over gentle heat or until soft and translucent. Stir from time to time.
3. Meanwhile, toast the star anise bulb and coriander seeds in a dry pan over a low heat until fragrant. Add to the carrot mixture and toss.
4. Add the apple and curry paste, stir and fry for another minute.
5. Add the stock and coconut milk and bring to the boil. Stir, cover with a lid and turn the heat down to a simmer until the carrots are really soft (up to 40 minutes). Taste and add more curry paste if you like it hotter. Stir well.
6. Leave the soup to cool slightly. Remove the star anise bulb. Purée the soup in batches in the pan with a hand blender or in a stand blender (making sure not to overfill the blender or it will spurt out). Pour the soup back into a clean saucepan, add a little water to bring it to the consistency you like, add a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten it and adjust the seasoning with a little salt, if required.
– Serve this soup with a dollop of yogurt on top and garnish with toasted coriander seeds to finish it off.
– To freeze: leave to cool completely and freeze it in portion-sized bags – it will keep for up to 2 months. (If you chill the filled bags before freezing, you will avoid ice crystals).
– You may need to add a little salt at the end of cooking if you use fresh stock but if you use a commercial stock cube, you shouldn’t need any.
– You can make the soup 3 days ahead and store it in the fridge.
– Use all stock and omit the coconut milk. Instead to give it a creamy consistency, add a few spoons of cream to the soup when blending (don’t add the cream if you are freezing the soup).
– Use your favourite Thai curry paste instead of Indian curry paste.
– Omit the apple if you don’t have one.
Photograph © foodpixies.com