With the colder weather already upon us it’s time to think of comforting food that will make you feel instantly comforted and warm, while being a quick and healthy soup to make and serve up to your family. On cold days there is nothing more satisfying than whipping up a pan of soup to enjoy and I have found some family friendly recipes that never cease to please at mealtimes, this is one of them. I was a little unsure if my daughters would like the different taste of this soup so it was great to find that they loved it with some crusty bread.
I have been debating if I should buy a soup maker just recently and as I have been making more and more soup dishes for the family I think it would be a really good investment for an ‘all-in-one’ soup maker, as I tend to use several different pans and blenders every time I cook up some soup and would love the flexibility (and less washing up!) that soup makers offer. I was a little unsure initially as they look very much like kettles! But I have heard so much positive feedback from friends and family that I really want to try one out too. It would certainly make light work of this recipe so if you have one use it!
I experimented with different quantities of the tamarind paste in this recipe as I didn’t want it to be too strong for my girls as it was their first try of the flavour, so do go ahead and use as much or as little as you feel you would like. Personally I think 4 teaspoons is enough to give a smooth flavour with the fresh coconut but my OH loves it really strong – so it works differently for everyone. I hope it is a new favourite for your family as it has become for ours.
This soup has a very Indonesian feel to it with the exotic coconut and the distinctive tart taste of tamarind, which is often used in Tom Yung Goong, the amazing Thai soup which is my other half’s favourite soup.
The tamarind I used is in paste form in a sealed packet from Seasoned Pioneers and can be used in many dishes such as curries, soups and chutneys to name a few.
How To Crack Open A Coconut
First thing to do is get a metal skewer and push it through the three holes in the top of the coconut, this will allow you to get the coconut milk out really easily. A top tip is to use a metal skewer rather than a wooden skewer, as I have used a wooden one in the past and I managed to snap it off! So do use a metal one.
Carefully remove the coconut pieces from the shell with a small knife, you will find it comes away really easily. Once you have removed all the coconut you need to peel off all the inner skin, this is easiest with a potato peeler or a small knife. Wash all the pieces thoroughly and then either grate the coconut or use a food processor.
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 3 carrots finely chopped
- 1 celery stick finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 3-4 teaspoons tamarind paste (I used Seasoned Pioneers)
- 2 litres vegetable stock
- 1 whole coconut grated or pulsed in a food processor
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sweat (light saute) the onion, carrots, celery, garlic and the tamarind paste for 15 minutes approximately. You don’t want any colour on the vegetables so make sure you watch the heat of your element and also ensure that it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the vegetable stock and the coconut and reduce the mixture by about one third.
- Season to taste.
- Put the soup into a food processor and blend until smooth, or at the consistency that you require.
- Serve with crusty garlic bread and natural yogurt.