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Carrot gazpacho

Serves 4
1 stalk lemongrass
450g peak-season carrots, sliced
400ml light or full-fat coconut milk; reserve 60ml for garnish
1 clove garlic
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1½ tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon red curry paste
125ml filtered water
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
optional garnishes: sesame seeds, pepitas, microgreens, drizzle of coconut milk
Prepare the lemongrass by cutting off the root end and the tough upper stem of the stalk. Remove the first one or two layers of outer leaves and finely chop the tender, aromatic part of the lemongrass.
Using a high-speed blender, combine the lemongrass, carrot, coconut milk, garlic, olive oil, sherry vinegar, red curry paste, water, and a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. If you are not using a a high speed blender,s train the soup and then blend again until it is completely smooth.
Chill for at least 4 hours. If the soup thickens in the fridge, stir in a little more cold water. Add more salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with your favourite garnishes.

Jeanine Donofrio is the creator of the popular food blog Love & Lemons (www.loveandlemons.com) and the author of The Love & Lemons Cookbook (Penguin/Viking) from which this recipe is reproduced with kind permission, available at all good bookstores.