Carrot Soup with herb chapons & yoghurt

Carrot_Soup_with_herb_chapons.jpg

This is another of my favourite soups and when the carrots are sweet and in season, especially when I can pick them out of my garden, then the taste is even more delicious. This recipe uses buffalo-milk yoghurt which you can buy from speciality store, but Greek yoghurt works just as well. The herb chapons are so easy to make and just are the finishing touch to this soup all with the mint, chervil, coriander and parsley to serve.

Carrot soup with herb chapons and buffalo-milk yoghurt

30g butter, coarsely chopped

1/2 onion, coarsely chopped

1.5 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle

1/2 teaspoon mild paprika

600g trimmed carrots, coarsely chopped

1 litre chicken stock

Buffalo-milk yogurt to serve

1/2 cup each of torn mint, chervil, coriander and flat-leaf parsley

1/2 cup 5cm-lengths chives

Garlic and herb chapons

200g baguette (sourdough), coarsely chopped into large croutons

250ml olive oil

1/4 cup each flat-leaf parsley and basil, coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion, coriander seeds and paprika, and stir occasionally until onion is tender, then add the carrots and stir to combine. Season to taste, add the chicken stock and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and cook until carrot is tender. Transfer to a blender or use a stick blender to process until smooth. If soup is too thick, add more stock.
For garlic and herb chapons, combine baguette pieces with 80ml oil in a bowl and season to taste. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add chapons and turn occasionally until golden and just crisp on the outside. Meanwhile, blend herbs and garlic with remaining oil, add to pan and toss to coat. Set aside.
To serve, ladle hot soup into warmed bowls, scatter over chapons, drizzle with herb oil from the pan, top with dollops of yoghurt and scatter with herbs.
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