1 kg carrots, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
25 g butter
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock
3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander, plus 6 small sprigs, to garnish
3 tablespoons crème fraîche
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Begin by dry-roasting the coriander seeds in a small frying pan over a medium heat, stirring and tossing them around for 1-2 minutes, or until they begin to look toasted and start to jump in the pan. Now tip them into a pestle and mortar and crush them coarsely.
Next, heat the butter in a large saucepan, then add the chopped carrots, garlic and three-quarters of the crushed coriander seeds. Stir the carrots in the buttery juices and crushed seeds, then cover the pan and let the vegetables cook over a gentle heat until they are beginning to soften – about 10 minutes. Next, add the stock and season with salt and pepper and bring everything up to the boil.
Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for a further 15-20 minutes, partially covered, or until all the vegetables are tender. Leave the soup to cool a little, then you can liquidise the whole lot in batches (a large bowl to put each batch in is helpful here). After that, return the purée to the pan and stir in the chopped fresh coriander and 2 tablespoons of the crème fraîche. Re-heat the soup, then taste to check the seasoning and serve in warmed bowls and garnish each one with a swirl of crème fraîche, a sprinkling of the remaining toasted coriander seeds and a sprig of fresh coriander.