Rebar’s Carrot Lemongrass Soup with Coriander, Ginger and Coconut

Could this be one of my last recipe posts for a while? With less than a month till leaving the country, I am not going to have many more opportunities to cook for myself.  Soon it will be meals prepared by restaurants, apart from the bit of fruit and other things we buy from markets while we travel.  One of the best parts of travelling is the food.  One of the worst is not being able to cook for yourself.  A blessing for people who hate cooking but it sometimes gets weary for people who love making their own food the way they like it.  Still, it is a privileged position I am in to be able to travel and eat foods from other countries that are prepared for me.  So, I always appreciate that.

This soup is from the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook-a cookbook based on the restaurant by the same name, in Victoria, Canada. This book is a staple in the Vancouver kitchen for most people I know, especially vegetarians and I always recommend the restaurant to anyone who is visiting Vancouver Island.  I’m a sucker for anything with coconut milk in it and the boon of carrots in the garden here made this a no-brainer choice for a late summer soup.  Shown in the photo is also the Rebar foccaccia recipe which perhaps I will share a different day! Also, as an aside, I will mention that we are purchasing a new camera for our travels and are leaning towards the Canon Rebel T3! Stay tuned for better photos! After seeing one of my embarrasing images on Bon Appetit’s website, next to other bloggers who obviously have better cameras than my little point and shoot, I thought it is really time to do something about this! Our little camera served us well and was years ahead of it’s time when we bought it in Japan about 5 years ago, but it’s time to move on! 


  • 8 c. Asian or Vegetable Stock (the book contains recipes for both these stocks but I just used a pre-made, bought stock)
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tbsp. veg. oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt (I left this out as bought stock has a lot of salt in it)
  • 3 lemongrass stalks
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. Thai red curry paste (or in my case about 2 tsp.!)
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds, ground
  • 2 lbs carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 x 398 ml can coconut milk
  • 2 tsp. minced lemon zest
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • chopped cilantro leaves
  • plain yoghurt (optional)
Begin by heating the stock while you prepare the soup ingredients.  Add the lime leaves and keep warm.  Prepare lemongrass by cutting the stalk 4″ from the root end.  Discard the top and peel the outer layer from the bottom piece.  Using a large, broad-bladed knife, smash the lemongrass.  To do this safely, lay the blade flat on the stalk, sharp end facing away from you, and bang the blade with your fist.  The lemongrass should lightly crush under the impact.  Mince and set aside.  Prepare the remaining ingredients.
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat.  Add onion and 1 tsp. salt.  Cook the onions until translucent.  Add minced garlic, ginger, lemongrass, curry paste and coriander; saute and stir for 5 minutes.  Stir in the chipped carrots and remaining 2 tsp salt.  Saute for several minutes, then pour in the hot stock.  Bring to a boil and simmer until the carrots are soft (about 15 minutes).
Remove the lime leaves and puree the soup with a hard blender or food processor until smooth.  Whisk in coconut milk and sambal oelek and simmer gently for 15 minutes.  Just before serving, add the lemon zest, juice and season to taste with salt or more sambal.  Garnish each bowl with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and a spoonful of yoghurt, if you like.

2 thoughts on “Rebar’s Carrot Lemongrass Soup with Coriander, Ginger and Coconut

  1. That soup both looks and sounds gorgeous! I love lemongrass, so I think I need to try this out!

    Enjoy the upcoming travels and don’t forget to take photos of all the food! 🙂

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