K’s Kitchen: A soup of carrots and corriander

By Kathryn Reed

Even though it didn’t seem like winter in Lake Tahoe until a few days ago, that was not stopping me from making soup. But something about the snow falling on Monday made it even more appealing to create something hot to eat.

It was easy to forget about work as the aromas from the kitchen filtered through the house and the woodstove made things even cozier.

Something about soup is so calming. Maybe it’s the simplicity of it – the eating part, not always the making part. Maybe it’s how one bowl can be a whole meal.

All of this got me thinking about where the word soup came from. So I did a research and came up with the following.

John Ayto in “An A-Z of Food and Drink” says, “The etymological idea underlying the word soup is that of soaking. It goes back to an unrecorded post-classical Latin verb suppare soak, which was borrowed from the same prehistoric German root (sup-) as produced in English sup and supper. From it was derived the noun suppa, which passed into Old French as soupe. This meant both piece of bread soaked in liquid and, by extension, broth poured onto bread. It was the latter strand of the meaning that entered English in the seventeenth century. Until the arrival of the term soup, such food had been termed broth or pottage. It was customarily served with the meat or vegetable dishes with which it had been made, and (as the derivation of soup suggest) was poured over sops of bread or toast (the ancestors of modern croutons). But coincidentally with the introduction of the world soup, it began to be fashionable to serve the liquid broth on its own, and in the early eighteenth century it was assuming its present-day role as a first course.”

The following recipe was sent to me from a friend who got it from Raley’s Recipe Center.

I used vegetable broth. I did not use fat free half & half. Sometimes fat is a good thing.

Carrot and Coriander Soup

2 T butter

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced

2 ribs celery, sliced

1 medium sweet potato (8 ounces), peeled and cubed

1 (32 ounce) container chicken stock or reduced-sodium broth

2 tsp ground coriander

½ C fat free half & half

½ tsp salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Melt butter in a medium saucepan, cooking until golden brown. Add onion and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat or until lightly browned. Add carrots, celery, sweet potato and stock to pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and puree with a stick blender or in a blender or food processor. Return to pan and stir in coriander, half & half, salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes more just to heat through.

Makes 6 servings.