Bright coriander harmonizes with two kinds of sweetness in this soup — a familiar, earthy sweetness from the carrots and a more exotic, tropical sweetness from the coconut. Serve as a first course or add a green salad for a light dinner.
Carrot & Coconut Puree with Curried Almonds
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. ground coriander, plus 1 Tbs.
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 1/2 tsp. unsalted butter, plus 3 Tbs.
1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g.) sliced almonds, toasted
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 lb. (1 kg.) carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g.) unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l.) chicken or vegetable broth
2 cans (14 oz./440 g. each) coconut milk
2 tsp. rice vinegar
Stir together 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, the 1/4 teaspoon coriander, and the curry powder.
In a nonstick frying pan, melt the 1 1/2 teaspoon butter with 1 tablespoon water and the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, swirling the pan to blend. Add the almonds, stir to coat, and cook until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 45 seconds. Transfer to the bowl with the spice mixture and toss to coat the almonds evenly. Pour onto a piece of parchment paper, spread in a single layer, and let cool.
In a large, heavy pot, melt the 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, coconut, ginger, and the 1 tablespoon coriander and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables give off some of their liquid, about 10 minutes. Add the broth, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Pour into a clean pot. Add the coconut milk (reserve some for serving), the vinegar, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook gently over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 10 minutes. Serve, sprinkled with the spiced almonds and swirled with coconut milk. Serves 6-8.