By Dorothy Connor on behalf of SLH
It’s unsurprising that coriander leaves look like flat parsley — coriander is related to parsley as well as to celery. Coriander, also called Cilantro, is widely used in Indian and Central Asian cuisines.
If you would like some tips for growing coriander at home, head down to one of the Heaton Mersey Garden Maintenance sessions and speak to the friendly team of gardeners.
If you’ve already got some coriander in your garden, why not give this recipe a try?
Ukrainian-ish Carrot & Coriander Soup
“Ukraine-ish” because the ingredients are very similar to those of the national dish of the Ukraine: borscht. Coriander is added, but the main difference is the smaller amount of beetroot in the recipe. This is to let us Brits get used to a probably unfamiliar flavour in a cooked dish!
Ingredients (for 4 portions):
2Tbsp olive oil (preferably extra virgin olive oil)
200g (7 oz) onions
240g (8 ½ oz) carrots
1 litre (2 pts) low salt veg (or beef) stock
110g (4 oz) white cabbage
110g (4 oz) beetroot
400g (14 oz) potatoes
8g coriander* leaves (about a small handful – weigh before washing.)
2tsp lemon juice
Optional : Sour cream & coriander or parsley leaves to garnish
*If you use coriander powder instead (ground seeds), the taste will be different (nutty/smoky/woody) but something to try! Use 1 tsp. (nutty/smoky/woody). If you’re not a fan of coriander, use parsley or lovage leaves.
- Onions: peel & cut into chunks.
- Beetroot: peel & cut into smallish chunks. (Or if you have a julienne cutter, cut it into matchsticks – But be careful!*)
- Carrots: scrub clean (you don’t need to peel) and cut into chunks (or cut juliennes if you like).
- White cabbage: chop into chunks.
- Potatoes: peel & chop into bitesize chunks
- Start heating the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onions, then after a minute add the carrots, and beets. Sauté the vegetables in the oil for about 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, make the litre of stock and then add it to the saucepan of vegetables. Bring to a boil and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Add the potato chunks and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are nearly soft.
- Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
- Optional garnish: You can serve with a dollop of sour cream and a garnish of coriander or parsley leaves if you like.
Using a julienne cutter, it’s easy to hold down a carrot with one hand at the top and safely cutting the bottom half with the other hand. But using a julienne cutter on, say, a small beetroot is tricky. I hold the beet using a thick flannel and use the cutter with the other hand, confidently knowing that It might cut into the flannel, but not into my hand or fingers!