Spicy Carrot, Coconut & Cumin Soup

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Preparation info

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Appears in

The Sugar Club Cookbook

By Peter Gordon

Published 1997

  • About

It’s the sweetness of the carrots and the coconut that smooth out the spices in this soup. The turmeric imparts a subtle taste and colour, but here the cumin comes to the fore. Though best eaten on a cold day, this soup chills well and is an excellent picnic soup. The coriander or tarragon leaves stirred in at the time of serving add a fresh taste – either will complement the soup nicely.


  • 1 kg ( lb) carrots
  • 6 red onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 3cm (1 in) thumb of ginger
  • 1 medium-sized red chilli
  • 50ml (fl oz) sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 litre ( pints) coconut milk
  • 250ml (9fl oz) water
  • Salt and cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup fresh coriander leaves or ¼ cup fresh tarragon leaves


Peel the carrots, onions, garlic and ginger and finely slice them and the chilli. Heat the oil almost to smoking and add the chilli, garlic, ginger, cumin and fennel. Fry on a fairly high heat, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Next add the onions and fry for a further 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the carrots and turmeric and turn down the heat. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the coconut milk and water and bring to the boil. Turn down and simmer for about 15 minutes until the carrots are soft. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before blending to a fine purée in a liquidiser. Test for seasoning and add salt and cracked black pepper.

Reheat just before serving and stir finely shredded coriander or tarragon leaves through it as it goes to the table.