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Chilled Coconut Soup

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Serves: 6
1.2 litres / 2 pints milk
225g / 8 oz dry unsweetened shredded coconut
400ml / 14 fl oz coconut milk
400ml / 14 fl oz chicken stock
200ml / 7 fl oz double (heavy) cream
2.5ml / 1/2 tsp salt
2.5ml / 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
5ml / 1 tsp caster sugar
small bunch of fresh coriander

Pour the milk into a large pan. Bring it to the boil, stir in the coconut, lower the heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Spoon the mixture into a food processor and process until smooth. This may take a while - up to 5 minutes - so pause frequently and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Rinse the pan to remove any coconut that remains, pour in the processed mixture and add the coconut milk. Stir in the chicken stock (home-made, if possible, which gives a better flavour than a stock cube), cream, salt, pepper and sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, then lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes.

Reserve a few coriander leaves to garnish, then chop the rest finely and stir into the soup. Pour the soup into a large bowl, let it cool, then cover and put into the refrigerator until chilled. Just before serving, taste the soup and adjust the seasoning, as chilling will alter the taste. Serve in chilled bowls, garnished with the coriander leaves.

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