Curried Celery Root Soup With Cilantro Oil

From Low-Carb Vegetarian (Whitecap Books, $16.95) by Celia Brooks Brown. Reprinted with permission by Whitecap Books.

Thank heaven for celery root, one of the few low-carb root vegetables. It gives this soup a creamy and satisfying texture. Whole spices always produce the best flavour, but you can use ground spices instead if you're feeling lazy.

  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 750 grams celery root, diced
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the cilantro oil
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • handful of cilantro leaves
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons heavy or whipping cream, to serve

To make the soup, grind together the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and chili flakes in a spice grinder or pound in a mortar with a pestle. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat. Add the crushed spices and the turmeric and cook for about one minute, until fragrant. Add the onion, cover, and cook for about five minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, and almonds and cook for one minute. Add the celery root and stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the celery root is tender, then purée the soup with a handheld blender or food processor until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To make the cilantro oil, grind all the ingredients together in a spice grinder or food processor, or pound to a smooth paste in a mortar with a pestle.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowl and garnish with the cilantro oil and cream.

Serves six. Per serving: carbs: six grams, protein: 4.5 grams, calories: 237, fibre: six grams, fat: 21 grams (saturated fat: seven grams).