A Light Carrot & Coconut Soup…
One of my fondest memories of childhood was our weekly visit to the library. A little girl`s dream of visiting the so called ‘fairy-tale’ land came true on my first visit to the nearby library! Bookcases growing up to the size of Jack`s beanstalk, filled with countless books & I  had to strain my neck back then to see all the way to the top of the shelf…wondering what more treasures it held.Each time I would lose track of the time I spent amidst these ‘treasures’ (but of course I was just beginning to tell the time back then!). If I had to choose between chocolates or books my vote would always be in favor of the latter..even now!!
My dear little sister who was all the time energetic, always straying about & unwilling to be committed to the same place or task for more than 5 mins would sober down when we entered the library. The ‘poker’ face & seemingly ‘stern’  librarian probably played a role in my sister`s change of behavior too After some hunting I would zero in on books that caught my interest & also depending on the load I could bear! This ‘joyous’ occasion would be followed by a visit to the park, some games & laughter there & then back home. This continued for quite sometime, only thing that changed was the category of books I bought – from Cinderella to Famous Five & then Nancy Drew & well you get the point..And of course the librarian seemed more friendlier later on.. 

Zoom in to present : I still enjoy books…thrillers that keep me awake till past midnight & my recent favorite being cookbooks! Well..with me, it has to come down to food…always! I never come home empty handed (but empty wallet maybe) after a visit to a bookstore..After a glance at the cookbooks by popular authors I then also go on to search for books by lesser known local authors or popular ones but I am not aware of.It was during one of these searches I came a Vegetarian Cookbook by Tannie Baig. Probably many of you do have her books but for me it was the first one..The book consists of unique yet do-able and yet exotic vegetarian recipes. Quite pleased with this purchase I made & here is a light carrot soup recipe from the book.
 The usual tomatoes commonly paired with carrots is replaced with coconut milk. And for me being a South Indian too, it was a wonderfully rustic blend of flavors. It has no oil or butter. It also gets its sensuous  flavor from the fresh coriander. Apt for a light dinner, brunch or lunch!

Carrot and Coconut soup

Creamy coconut milk based carrot soup, with a dash of cilantro!

  • 250 g carrots (diced)
  • 1 big onion (diced)
  • 5 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk/ coconut cream
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves/ cilantro – coarsely minced
  • 1 tbsp coconut flakes (dry roasted (optional))
  1. Throw in the carrots, onion, garlic into a pan, add the water and cook till the carrots are tender.
  2. Remove from heat, let cool a bit and blend to a puree until smooth. If you want to keep the flavor of garlic very mild, then discard the garlic cloves before you blend.
  3. Return the soup/ puree to the pan and boil for about 4 to 5 mins. You may add some water to get the soup as per your required consistency.
  4. Add the coconut cream and simmer for few mins. Do not boil too much after adding the coconut milk as the coconut milk will split.
  5. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, pour into individual soup bowls. Garnish with cilantro & coconut flakes and serve piping hot with bread sticks or garlic bread or baguette.

To dry roast coconut flakes, place them in a warm griddle and let them turn pale and release their aroma. Stir in between.
You may skip the toasted coconut flakes but do not exclude the coriander. And use only fresh ones please and not the dried variety.

Adapted from Tannie Baig


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