Coriander Potato Soup

by Jerry Traunfeld

This recipe comes to TableFare from Chef Jerry Traunfeld as part of his contribution to Spice Inspirations.

This recipe comes to TableFare from Chef Jerry Traunfeld as part of his Spice Inspiration feature on coriander. A bright citrus note plays opposite the warm toasty coriander flavor of the featured spice creating a perfect flavor pairing. This quick and easy soup is creamy but light, and can even be served chilled for a refreshing summer meal.

8 servings

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as peanut or canola
2 medium sized leeks, white and light green part only, washed and chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
6 cups chicken broth
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1½ tablespoons coriander seed
3 strips orange zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
1 cup half and half
1 cup whole milk yogurt
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Coarsely chopped cilantro for garnish

Pour the oil into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring often, until the leek is wilted and softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth. When it comes to a simmer, add the potatoes, cover the pan, lower the heat, and cook until the potato is very soft, 20 to 30 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, put the coriander seed and orange zest in a small saucepan. Toss over medium heat until they smell strongly toasty and the seed color is a few shades darker. Pour the seed and zest out onto a paper towel to cool. Grind the coriander seeds in a rotary coffee mill.

Add the ground coriander and strips of toasted orange zest to the soup and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the half and half and yogurt. Puree the soup in two batches in a blender just until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper. If you used canned salted broth you will need little salt, but if you used unsalted broth, you may need as much as 1 tablespoon. Heat the soup and serve in bowls with a generous topping of cilantro. The soup may also be served chilled.

Printed with permission from Jerry Traunfeld. Copyright © 2009 by Jerry Traunfeld.