Curried Coconut, Carrot & Coriander Soup with Crispy Facon Bits (vegan)
I find a bowl of smooth soup rather boring - every mouthful is the same. So this soup is ideal if you want the creaminess of smooth soup, with the interesting textures of an unblended soup.
Serves two, generously.
If you want it for lunch the next day too, simply scale up the recipe.
5 medium carrots, peeled and diced.
1 onion, peeled and diced.
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced.
1 teaspoon of hot curry powder.
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds.
1 teaspoon of turmeric.
A pint of vegetable stock.
Half a can (200ml) of coconut milk.
1/3 of a pack of Vivera Plant Bacon Pieces (any major supermarket should stock these in their veggie/vegan fridge section) -- This can be swapped out for meaty bacon if you feel so inclined...
1/2 a bunch of coriander (or to taste), plus enough to sprinkle on top as a garnish.
A fresh lime.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Olive oil for drizzling.
In a large, deep saucepan, saute the onion, garlic and carrots in a glug of vegetable oil on a medium heat, stirring often. Add a generous pinch of salt to help this along.
Once the onion and garlic begin to soften and turn translucent, add your spices and stir continuously until your vegetables are coated & you can really start to smell the spices and they are beginning to brown,
Pour over a little of the stock to deglaze the spices which may have stuck to the bottom of the pan, and then pour in the rest.
Let the vegetables simmer in the stock until they are very soft - the carrots should have no bite to them whatsoever.
Whilst this is simmering - heat up a frying pan on a medium-high heat with a generous glug of vegetable oil. Fry your facon pieces, stirring often, until they are almost burnt. You want them to be crispy throughout with no hint of chewiness/softness... you may need to add more oil as you go to prevent them sticking. Basically, the crispier the better so that they hold their texture once submerged in soup!
Once the carrots are soft, pour in your coconut milk and stir. Once fully combined and bubbling, take your pan off the heat and blend to your desired consistency. I like it smooth, with a decent amount of lumps. (This may mean using a blender, a nutribullet or a stick blender... we used the latter cos it means way less mess & it's just the way my mama's always done it.)
Off the heat, stir in your chopped coriander, a big squeeze of lime, black pepper and salt, to taste.
Serve in deep soup bowls, sprinkle your crispy facon on top, more coriander, a squeeze of lime, a drizzle of olive oil et voila... we served ours with a few slices of cornbread, a good hunk of butter & a wedge of lime. It was great. If you're not vegan, feel free to add a crumble of feta... I'm sure that'd be lovely too.