Curried Carrot and Lentil Soup
This curried carrot and lentil soup is a classic – sweet carrots, warming spices, and no heavy cream.
It really is the weather for soup at the moment. If you have half a packet of carrots left over soup is a great choice as it uses so many. You never buy one or two carrots, do you? A bag is about 50p from the supermarket, so of course you get the bag. My greengrocers’ website adds carrots in batches of 500g. Carrots keep forever, so there always seem to be one or two at the bottom of the fridge.
The beautiful thing about spice in a soup, to me, is that I can make it with no added salt – the perfect healthy winter warmer! This soup also has no cream or milk added, so it’s vegan and dairy free, and low fat. Lentils are so filling – if you’re watching what you eat you could do worse than this. If you just want solid comfort food, however, pile on the cheese or yogurt and it will fit the bill nicely.
If you don’t have enough carrots, just substitute what you do have and it will still be a decent soup. I’ve added a quantity for the chilli, but really I’d suggest getting to know the chilli you buy and your tastes – see my article on chilli here. If in doubt just add a small pinch, or skip it altogether, and it will still be a well spiced soup.
Do make sure you read the instructions on your blender. My food processor advises the solid parts be sifted out and blended, then re-added to the cooking liquid.
Just what we needed on a rainy day! This curried carrot and lentil soup had all the body of a hearty winter soup, and all the freshness of nice sweet carrots. Serve with bread and natural yogurt.
- 2 onions
- 13 oz carrots weighed after peeling - about 4 carrots
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or extra hot chilli powder
- 1 tsp heaped each of cumin, coriander and turmeric
- 1 pinch ginger and caraway
- 4 oz split red lentils (113g or 1/2 cup)
- cooking oil
- Peel and slice your carrots. Peel and dice the onions.
- Heat the oil in a pan, and add the diced onion. Cook until it's soft and translucent.
- Boil the kettle.
- Stir in your spices and cook for a few minutes before adding the lentils and carrots. Mix thoroughly so the spices coat everything evenly. Add a little water to the pan if it becomes dry - making sure it's not too hot first.
- When it's all well mixed add freshly boiled water so it comes about 1cm above your carrots and lentils. Bring the pan to the boil, then cover and simmer until the carrots and lentils are tender. This took about 15 minutes for me.
- Take the pan off the heat and blend the soup. As mentioned above, I strained out the solid parts with just a little liquid, blended them, then readded them.
- When it's blended give it a good stir and warm it through. Add extra water if it's too thick - cook it for a few more minutes if it's watery.