Carrot Coriander Soup

For me, there’s Irish food and then there’s Irish food.  You know the usuals: Irish stew, fish n’ chips, corned beef and cabbage (actually more Irish-American than Irish), maybe Shepard’s Pie.  There are plenty more, lesser known on this side of the pond, such as boxty and colcannon.  I’m no expert but they are the dishes that I’ve always associated with that far away green isle, whether because they’re my favorite selections from the menu of the local Irish pub, or because my 16-year-old self consumed them repeatedly on my first trip over in 1986.


Now, however, times have changed and thankfully it’s my 2011 trip that lives in my Irish memories.  Irish food for me is now the tart and refreshing Pomegranate Blueberry Smoothie I had that first morning in Blarney.  It’s also Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon, which I enjoyed almost every morning of that trip.  And it’s fresh fish of all types: fried, roasted, poached, served with a cream sauce or maybe a slice of chorizo.


What I’ve been chasing, though, is a carrot soup that I had with the above meal of fish (the variety is lost to me now) with chorizo.


I’ve tried various incarnations of boiling carrots and whizzing them up with ingredients such as orange juice, apples, chickpeas, even white beans.  Those versions were certainly edible but they just didn’t evoke that one specific food memory. The place probably had something to do with.  Either that or the kir royale.



This is Kinsale, the unabashed foodie capital of Ireland.  I would concur as well as add that most meals we had lived up to this colorful town’s standards.



Sunday, I decided to stop experimenting and google “carrot coriander soup”.  There was an easy version on, so I went with it.  Et voilà. This one got me closer than any of the versions I had previously attempted.  I added ginger and crushed red, because I seem unable to refrain from so doing lately.  The nice thing about this soup is that it’s lighter and fits in perfectly with a less hearty, spring-like style of eating that we lean toward this time of year.


I served it as a first course with Catherine Fulvio’s Beef Fillet with Jameson Cream Sauce, which she demo-ed on the Today Show last year.  It was delicious but, trust me, you do not want to see that picture. If you’re tempted by it, I’d recommend adding a teaspoon of maple syrup to the sauce. But that’s just me.

Carrot Coriander Soup

Serves 4, adapted from
  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2″ coins
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • a 1″ piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • sour cream and grated parmesan (optional garnish)

Preheat the olive oil in a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat.  Add the carrots, onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.  Turn down the flame if they seem to be browning.  Salting add this point can help reduce browning.

Add the coriander, crushed red and salt and pepper. Stir and cook for about a minute.

Add the vegetable stock and water and bring to a light boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for a thicker stew, for 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender.  For a thinner soup, simmer covered.

Add the chopped cilantro and stir.  Allow to simmer for another couple of minutes

Finally, use an immersion blender and blend until only somewhat smooth.  It’s very satisfying to have some whole carrots as well in this one!  Alternatively, you can transfer half the soup to a blender (don’t forget to remove the small part of the lid and cover with a kitchen towel before blending to avoid a carrot explosion!) and pulse a couple of times.  Add back to the soup pot and stir. Taste to adjust seasonings.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of parmesan.

And get thee to Ireland, tout de suite!




About Liza M.

foodie, francophile, Ann Arborite, teacher, bookworm and self-professed latte-lover--come cook with me!
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14 Responses to Carrot Coriander Soup

  1. Sam says:

    That soup was eat-it-off-the-floor good! One of the most flavorable ever!

    • Liza M. says:

      Flavorable? I like it! I’ll have to double the recipe next time. I think it’s spring-y enough to make again in the coming months. I hear it might actually warm up by May.

  2. Ed mcArdle says:

    Yo Liza
    sounds scrumpcious!! and brings back good memories, I bet you could also sub winter squash and low fat yogurt to reduce calories and be just as good, Yes?

    • Liza M. says:

      Remember that meal, Dad? For me it was the most memorable of the trip. That and the one at Windy Point! Ah, such fresh fish. And yes of course, winter squash would work, but then it wouldn’t be carrot soup 😉

  3. La Torontoise says:

    Liza, what a touching story…
    I love this recipe from Jamie’s site; I discovered it by chance the last time I was in France, and used it, tout le monde s’est régalé.
    But I did not realize it had Irish background. I was in Ireland 19 years ago and I vividly remember the fish made in all possible styles…
    All the best!

    PS. The immersion blender is my favourite kitchen gadget. It profoundly changed my kitchen experience! Never before, I made so many soups in my life, each week. I vividly imagine the carrot explosion you are talking about: -)

    • Liza M. says:

      Did you notice it’s not actually a Jamie recipe though; it’s a “member” recipe. Still delicious! And I whole-heartedly agree about the immersion blender. It’s so much easier to make a creamy soup now. And fun!

      • La Torontoise says:

        Liza, I did not notice, because I was on the fly while searching…
        Was very delicious in any case (and I was writing last night, I resolved repeating the experience tonight).
        I’m collecting creamy soup recipes now. Avoided them before until I got this mixer!!

  4. Those are some exquisite photos, Liza! Wow!

  5. Wendy says:

    It must be March, Liza is posting pictures of travels and taking mini mental vacations to “anywhere but the gray dregs of a Michigan winter”! I love carrot soups but sadly I don’t have much time for soup making anymore. Do you have an immersion blender now? It’s on my wish list;)

  6. La Torontoise says:

    P.S. Liza, if you have other favourite recipes for creamy quickies, I’d love to know!!
    Never before, I ate so much of the the classic leek-and-potato soup, Vichyssoise:-)

    • Liza M. says:

      There’s a pumpkin soup here on the blog that I make in the fall and often substitute butternut squash. I also like Pioneer Woman’s Broccoli Cheddar soup and I’ve been wanting to try a roasted tomato one. Maybe that’ll be my next soup post.

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