Whenever guests first arrive on Thanksgiving day, I start by serving a soup course around the fire place, which is very traditional for me. I love this carrot soup with warm flavors like sambal oelek and creamy coconut milk. The shrimp paste adds a savory depth that is balanced beautifully by zested lime and lively ginger.
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 2 tablepsoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup minced shallot
- 1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
- 1½ tablespoons Madras curry powder
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek or other Asian chile sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon shrimp or anchovy paste
- 2 kaffir lime leaves or 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- kosher salt
- 3 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped (about 5 large carrots)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3/4 cup fresh carrot juice
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- freshly ground white pepper
- chopped cilantro and lime wedges, for serving
1. In a small skillet, toast the coriander seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. In a large saucepan, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the toasted coriander seeds, shallot, ginger, curry powder, sambal oelek, garlic, shrimp paste and kaffir lime leaves and season with salt. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring until fragrant and the vegetables are softened, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, broth, carrot juice and sugar, and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the carrots are very tender, about 30 minutes.
2. Working in batches, carefully puree the hot soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Strain the soup through a medium sieve and return it to the saucepan. Stir in the coconut milk and lime juice, and bring to a simmer. Season the soup with salt and white pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with lime wedges.
The soup can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently before serving.