Soup ticks so many of the right boxes for me.
It’s warm, comforting, satisfying and more often than not it’s pretty good for you.
It also pretty much always contains onions, which is now a massive tick in the wrong box…
No more lunch-time staple of cartoned soup from the chiller cabinet for me.
But now, if I want soup, it’s going to have to be home-made, without sweating off any onions first, or using a stock cube.
I chose carrot as the headline act in my first FODMAP friendly soup. Admittedly, it’s an interesting choice because I’m not really much of a carrot soup fan. However, I had plans for this particular carrot soup. Big, exciting plans involving plenty of spices, coconut milk and lime juice. I figured they might mellow out any overly carroty flavour, as well as, hopefully, make up for the lack of onion-y base flavour.
For some reason, ‘make sure you sweat the onions fully, you need to really get the flavour out of them’ is one of the lessons I learnt at cookery school that has well and truly imprinted itself on my brain, (along with keep muslin cloth away from fire…that’s another important one!). And so I’m pretty keyed up about really needing well sweated onions if I want my cooking to taste of anything. It’s a thought pattern I’m working hard to break back down.
Anyway, this carrot soup is onion free. It has the green bits of spring onions and asafoetida as onion flavour substitutes. And it has lots of spices going for it instead. And coconut. And lime. The perfect sweet and creamy, sour and zingy double act. Make the chilli major, or make it minor, depends how you like your spice.
Spicy carrot soup – Serves 4
If you’re not following a low FODMAP diet, you could replace the celery, spring onion and asafoetida powder for a regular onion, chopped finely, and cooked until starting to soften in step one. You could also use regular olive oil, adding 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic with the spices.
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
- 1 stick celery, finely chopped
- 5 spring onions, green parts only, finely sliced
- large handful of coriander, stems and leaves separated out and chopped
- generous pinch asafoetida
- pinch chilli flakes, (a big pinch, or a small pinch, your choice!)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground corriander
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
- 4 tomatoes, blanched, peeled, de-seeded and diced
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 0.5cm thick slices
- 800ml home-made FODMAP friendly veg stock (ie. made without onions, leeks and other problem veg – I’ll include a recipe for FODMAP friendly veg stock in my next post), or water
- salt and pepper
- 200ml coconut milk
- juice of 1/2 lime, plus extra to serve
- Heat the butter and garlic infused oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat until the butter has melted. Add the chopped celery and fry for about 3 minutes until starting to soften.
- Add the chopped green parts of spring onion, chopped coriander stems, asafoetida, chilli, cumin, ground coriander and ginger and continue to cook for a couple more minutes until the spices are fragrant.
- Add the diced tomato and tomato purée to the saucepan and cook for a further few minutes until the tomato has softened.
- Add the carrots and stock/water, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Cover the pan and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes until the carrots are tender.
- Remove the pan from the heat and purée the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth.
- If you blended the soup in a processor, return it to the pan. Reheat the soup over a medium heat and then stir in the coconut milk, the juice of half a lime and most of the chopped coriander leaves. If the soup seems a bit too thick, add a little more stock/water to achieve the desired consistency.
- Season to taste and serve sprinkled with the remaining coriander leaves and extra lime juice if liked.