Roasted Tomato and Coconut Soup – Learning to Appreciate Coriander

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


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with foil.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

About Food Daydreaming

I follow new recipes perfectly the first couple of times and then I pull them apart and put them back together my way. My biggest pet peeve is when I follow a recipe to a tee and then it doesn't turn out the way it should... I end up growling in my kitchen and that's just not right ;)

9 responses to “Roasted Tomato and Coconut Soup – Learning to Appreciate Coriander

  1. That looks so good. I’ll try it without the fish sauce. R

  2. This soup really sounds delicious!

  3. Still haven’t made a tomato soup. And as toms were on special last week I bought in a pack to do so. Hmm, just about to use ’em up in a different recipe entirely!

    Thanks for the link, btw. Hoping the spicing wasn’t too heavy handed. Although, I far prefer dry roasted and ground coriander seed to the leaf.

    Soup does sound very good. Like the idea of the coconut milk and a few coriander leaves.

    • Once the coriander is mixed in with the food, I don’t really mind whether it’s leaf or ground, but when it comes to the prep, the leaf really smells and puts me off the whole dish, but I am getting better! Can’t wait until it’s cold enough to make your soup again!

  4. I think it’s awesome that you are trying to teach yourself to like coriander/cilantro, since so many people don’t (often because of genetic reasons!). I happen to LOVE it, but then again with tomatoes and coconut milk, I’m sure this soup would be delicious, with or without it. 🙂

    • Genetic reasons? That’s interesting, my sister isn’t fond of it either! Honestly, I don’t even think when I make this, I just throw in the coriander and then scrub my hands clean; I’m afraid that if I try it without the coriander I’ll never put it in again!

  5. Yum! The flavors in this sounds delicious!

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