This is a lovely light soup for spring, made crunchy with herb
chapons - chunkier versions of croûtons. The sweeter the carrots,
the tastier this soup will be.
30 gmbutter, coarsely chopped½onion, coarsely chopped1½ tspcoriander seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle½ tspmild paprika600 gmtrimmed carrots, coarsely chopped1 litre (4 cups)chicken stockTo serve:buffalo-milk yoghurt (see note)½ cup eachtorn mint, chervil, coriander and flat-leaf parsley ½ cup5cm-lengths chivesGarlic and herb chapons200 gmbaguette, preferably sourdough, coarsely chopped into large croûtons250 ml (1 cup)olive oil¼ cup eachflat-leaf parsley and basil, coarsely chopped2garlic cloves, crushed
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion, coriander seeds and paprika, and stir occasionally until onion is tender (5-10 minutes), then add carrots and stir to combine. Season to taste, add chicken stock and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and cook until carrot is tender (20-30 minutes). Transfer to a blender or use a stick blender to process until smooth. Season to taste. If soup is too thick, add more stock.
For garlic and herb chapons, combine baguette pieces with 80ml oil in a bowl and season to taste. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add chapons and turn occasionally until golden and just crisp on the outside (5-10 minutes). Meanwhile, blend herbs and garlic with remaining oil, add to pan, toss to coat and set aside.
To serve, ladle hot soup into bowls, scatter over chapons, drizzle with herb oil from pan, top with dollops of buffalo yoghurt and scatter with herbs.
Note Buffalo-milk yoghurt is available at