There’s no better way to welcome in the Autumn than with a pan of steaming hot soup. The summer months have been full of crisp salads, fresh berries eaten in the raw and not to mention plenty of ice cream. Now the weather has notably dropped more than a few degrees and the nights are drawing in, cold meals seem absurd and actually, I love a thermos full of vegetable soup for my lunch so much more than any sandwich (unless of course I have the time and facilities to make one fresh in my lunch break – which happens precisely never!). Broths aren’t my style, unless I’m poorly and Jewish penicillin or chicken soup is the order of the day, my soups are a loose purée so you really feel you’ve had a meal. Some fresh bread buttered with generosity makes soup a primal satisfying feast, but this Slow Cooker Carrot & Coriander Soup, my most favourite flavour combination in the soup line, is hearty enough to enjoy on it’s lonesome. Which makes it handy for those on the 5:2 diet and Coeliacs alike. (Shhh, Hungry Hubby & I are trying the 5:2 thing again but we don’t want to make a big thing about it just yet!).
Now, I am well aware that you can make a vegetable soup on the stove, in probably less than 40 minutes from start to finish but the idea of using your slow cooker here is to make hot soup ready to be ladled into your thermos to take to work with you. When I make a batch, it’s the very last thing I do before bed around 11pm on busy days and it takes me 5 or 6 minutes to get it prepped and cooking. As there is so little evaporation from slow cookers all the nutrients from the veg remain in your pot. Look at that colour – orange surely is the hallmark of Autumn and makes me think of butternuts, Jack o’lanterns and crisp, crinkly leaves falling from the many trees around our home. Using both ground coriander and fresh is the secret to maximising the flavour in your soup. My slow cooker pot can be used to start the cooking off on the hob and I love it for get a bit of colour, caramelisation and extra flavour into our food. My powerful stick blender (a Bamix) makes a silky smooth and velvety soup and is far less messy than trying to do it in a food processor, as it always, always leaks if I do!
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion roughly chopped
- 1 rib celery chopped
- 600 g carrots peeled, ends trimmed and chopped roughly
- I whole but peeled garlic clove
- 1 rounded tsp ground coriander
- Plenty of cracked black pepper
- 400-600 ml stock veg or chicken
- 2-3 heaped tbsp chopped fresh coriander to finish
If your slow cooker pot is hob safe, add the oil and heat on medium.
Add the veg as you prepare them and cook for a couple of minutes to get a little colour on them.
Add the ground spice and garlic, pepper and cover with the stock.
Bring to the boil then transfer to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-9 hours.
Blitz with a stick blender and add the fresh herbs.
Season if needed to serve.
I love Kallo stock cubes - the salt content is very low so it puts you in control of that and the flavour is good, whilst not overtaking the flavour of the dish.
You can use a medium leek instead of the onion if you have some to hand - just wash it very thoroughly to get the mud out of it's leaves.
I like my soups thick so add 400ml stock only but you may wish to add more or some boiling water as you blend to thin it down.