Coriander is a herb that I’ve only recently started cooking with. I always thought I hated it and avoided it at all cost, just like celery and anything aniseed flavoured.
The one picky eating habit that has stuck with me from childhood is smelling my food before I take my first bite. If the smell does not appeal to me, if there is the slightest twitch of dislike from my nose, that’s the end of it, I just don’t eat it.
I finally realised that my problem with coriander has always been the smell. Sure, I still think that it’s overused and a little of it goes a long way, but I don’t actually dislike the taste. The smell of it though is just horrible for me. Whenever I finish chopping some up, I very quickly wash my hands with a steel ‘soap’ bar that a friend of mine recently gave me. After she finished laughing at me that is…
So while I was flicking through one my all-time favourite cookbooks, Delicious. Simply the Best, I noticed that I had yet to try out the roasted tomato soup. Wondering why, I quickly scanned the ingredients and there was my answer. Coriander. A lot of it.
I decided that since I happily ate the last soup I made that had coriander in it (thank you Feed the piglet…), I would suck it up and make the soup. I very rarely need to make any changes to any of the recipes from the Delicious series, but I have to admit that I did use less than the whole small bunch suggested in the recipe. And after my hands were washed and I could no longer smell the coriander, all was good in my world.
Roasted Tomato and Coconut Soup
Recipe from Delicious. Simply the Best.
- 1.5kg vine-ripened tomatoes (halved)
- 2 brown onions (peeled, quartered)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
- 1 small red chilli (seed removed, finely chopped)
- 300ml tomato juice
- 800ml coconut milk
- 1 small bunch coriander (leaves and stems finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with foil.
- Place the tomato and onion on the baking tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season and roast for 1 ½ hours or until the tomatoes and onions are very soft and lightly charred.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook the garlic, ginger and chilli, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the tomato juice, coconut milk and chopped coriander leaves and stems, then simmer for 6-8 minutes.
- Add the sugar, fish sauce, roasted tomatoes and onions, plus any cooking juices. Simmer for a further 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Either transfer the tomato mixture to a blender and blend until smooth or use an immersion blender. Season to taste. Serve either warm or chilled.