Carrot and coriander soup is very popular in Ireland. It’s lovely orange color makes it an ideal soup for fall and perfect to serve at Halloween.
This is one of my favorite carrot soup recipes, plus it’s extremely popular in Ireland, with its sweet and spicy taste.
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Cilantro and Coriander
The flavor of ground coriander, made from the seeds of the coriander or cilantro plant, is similar to that of roasted orange peel, making it a great complimentary spice for sweet carrots.
Irish people love soup, and we serve it all year long. Irish summers are not as warm as American summers, so Irish restaurants, pubs and even coffee shops usually have a pot of delicious soup simmering away, even in the summer. Some of my favorites are potato and leek soup, and traditional potato soup.
When I first came to America I did not realize that coriander is called cilantro over here. Fresh cilantro and fresh coriander are one and the same thing.
However, only the leaves and stems of the plant are called cilantro. The seeds are still called coriander seeds in America, just like in India where they are used extensively. These seeds are ground and sometimes roasted to produce an aromatic, flavorful spice.
How to Make Ground Coriander Spice at Home
If you can only find coriander seeds in your grocery, you can always make your own ground spice.
First dry-roast them by heating them in a small frying pan for about 2 minutes. Move them around as they roast.
They are done when they start to jump in the pan. Let them cool, then grind them with a mortar and pestle or use a coffee grinder to create a coarse powder.
Ingredients for Carrot and Coriander Soup
Here’s a quick list of what you will need for this delicious soup. You’ll find exact quantities in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- carrots (peeled and diced)
- potato (peeled and diced)
- onion (finely chopped)
- butter or oil (to cook onion)
- ground coriander seeds
- minced fresh ginger
- black pepper
- vegetable broth
- chopped fresh cilantro (to garnish)
Directions for Carrot and Coriander Soup
The first and most time consuming job for this soup is to peel and dice all those carrots.
Once I have them all peeled I chop each carrot into three pieces of roughly equal length.
Then I cut each piece into quarters. (If my carrots are exceptionally fat, I cut each piece into eighths).
I line up each quarter lengthwise, then chop them into small pieces about ¼ inch in length.
And after quite a bit of chopping a lovely mound of orange carrot pieces appears.
Next heat the oil or butter in the bottom of a large pot or Dutch oven. You can use olive oil or canola oil.
I like to use my cast iron Dutch oven. It really is a great pot for making soups. The cast iron distributes heat evenly so the vegetables simmer perfectly. You can use a large saucepan instead if you don’t have a Dutch oven.
Add the onion to the melted butter and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it does not burn.
Next toss in all those lovely carrots and diced potato. Using a potato in a carrot soup may seem strange to some, but I think it counteracts some of the sweetness of the carrots.
I also like the way the starch helps to thicken the soup.
Next, add the ground coriander, the minced fresh ginger, and the salt and pepper. Ginger is not always used in a carrot and coriander soup, but I like the depth of flavor it adds.
Mix all the ingredients together so the carrots are covered in butter and spice.
Lower the heat. Cover the pot and let the vegetables sweat for an additional 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the carrots have started to soften, add the vegetable stock or broth.
I keep this soup vegetarian friendly, but if you’re not worried about this, then you can use chicken broth or chicken stock instead
I like to add 2 cups of water also. I find if I use all vegetable broth with the diced potato, the soup ends up being very thick when pureed.
So I just add a little bit of water to prevent the starchy potato over thickening this lovely soup.
Turn the heat up to high, until the soup begins to boil. Then lower the heat so that the liquid is just simmering.
Cover the pot and continue to simmer for an additional 30 to 40 minutes, until the vegetables are fork tender.
Stir the soup every 10 minutes to make sure it does not stick.
When finished cooking it should look like this. Turn the heat off and let it sit uncovered for about 10 minutes.
It’s never a good idea to puree a boiling, hot soup.
Next, use an immersion blender to puree the soup completely. I love the simplicity of this hand blender for puréeing soups.
If you do not have an immersion blender, then transfer the soup in batches to a liquidizer or food processor.
Transfer each pureed batch to a large bowl. Then when all of the soup is pureed return it to the pot to reheat before serving.
Sprinkle the soup with some chopped fresh cilantro or coriander leaves to serve. If you don’t have any cilantro, chopped fresh parsley also makes a great garnish.
This is a perfect lunch on a cool fall day, with a side of crusty, buttered bread. I hope you’ll enjoy the lovely spicy flavours of the coriander in this sweet and spicy soup.
You can store this soup in the fridge for up to five days, once it is kept in an airtight container.
You can keep it in the freezer in an airtight, freezer proof container for up to six months.
Carrot and Coriander Soup Recipe Card
Here’s the recipe card for your kitchen files.
Carrot and Coriander Soup
- 2 pounds carrots peeled and diced
- 1 large potato peeled and diced
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter or oil to cook onion
- 1½ teaspoons ground coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro to garnish
- Heat the oil or butter in the bottom of a dutch oven and add the onion. Cook for 5 mins over medium heat.
- Next add the diced carrots and potato. Toss together with the buttery onions. Add the ground coriander, minced ginger, salt and pepper.
- Reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook for 8 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the vegetable broth and water. Turn the heat up to high to bring the soup to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low, covering the pot and letting the soup simmer for 30 to 35 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Turn the heat off and allow the soup to cool a little. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, or liquidize in batches.
- Serve hot, sprinkled with chopped fresh cilantro leaves to garnish.
Nutrition Information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients used.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad –Irish American Mom
Pronunciation – slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad – rhymes with parade
Here’s a Pinterest friendly image for your boards.
Plus, here are some more Irish recipes you might like to try: