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 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- ½ onion, coarsely chopped
- 1½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle
- ½ tsp mild paprika
- 600 gm trimmed carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 litre chicken stock (4 cups)
- To serve: buffalo-milk yoghurt (see note)
- ½ cup each torn mint, chervil, coriander and flat-leaf parsley
- ½ cup 5cm-lengths chives
Garlic and herb chapons
- 200 gm baguette, preferably sourdough, coarsely chopped into large croûtons
- 250 ml olive oil (1 cup)
- ¼ cup each flat-leaf parsley and basil, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1Melt 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.
- 2For 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.
- 3To 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 select delicatessens.