Sometimes you just need a bowl of soup. A good one. Red lentil and carrot anyone? It's smooth, flavorful, and quite healthy. And it freezes wonderfully, of course. I like to serve it with a drizzle of pesto and cream.
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I made this lentil and carrot soup on a whim, to use up the ingredients I already had in the fridge, and to quench the inevitable soup craving I get when the weather starts to get chilly.
This soup recipe is another great one.
The ingredients are easily found, and you might already have them in your house.
It's a versatile recipe too. I sometimes add green onions and garlic only, or just leeks.
I particularly like red onions and cherry tomatoes. They are sweeter, and meatier, just like the thyme I use, which I always buy too much of, and end up with dried thyme for a long time. But you don't complain when your favorite herb is always around.
The first time I made it, not being able to find cumin in my pantry, I added curry powder. But it takes on a too strong flavor, so I stick to the original cumin. It complements the other ingredients really well.
I don't know in your part of the world, but here cumin is used a lot in meat empanadas (hand pies), one of our most common delivery foods. It doesn't have a good reputation in many cases.
But as with many ingredients, once you get hold of a good one and use it in good recipes, the results are always different a.k.a. great.
Have you ever tried red or Turkish lentils?
They are quite different from regular brown ones and cook in no time, much quicker than the carrots, but since this is a creamy soup, I add it all together, so the lentils overcook a bit and add an extra layer of creaminess.
They cook super fast and you'll see them explode, but that doesn't for this soup as all is blended afterward.
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- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ red onion (in chunks (you can use white onions))
- 1 medium leek (white and light green part only, chopped)
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 twigs fresh)
- 2 garlic cloves (smashed or chopped)
- 1 medium tomato or 10/12 cherry tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon tomato extract
- 3 medium carrots (peeled and cut into rounds)
- 1 cup red (turkish lentils, dried and rinsed in cold water)
- 4 cups cold water
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup coconut milk (sometimes I use almond milk)
- Fresh lime (in wedges, to serve)
- Fresh parsley (chopped, to serve)
- In a medium saucepan with high borders, melt butter with olive oil.
- Add onion, leek, cumin and thyme. Cook for a few minutes on medium heat until they start to soften.
- Add garlic, fresh tomato and tomato extract. Cook stirring for a few minutes, until the tomato starts to soften.
- Add carrots, lentils, water, bay leaf and some salt and pepper. Be careful with the salt at this point as the soup will reduce while cooking.
- Lower the heat a bit, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils and carrots and very soft.
- With an immersion blender mix until completely smooth and creamy. You can use the blender if it allows for boiling liquids without problem.
- Serve immediately with some coconut milk, parsley and lime wedges to be squeezed on top just before eating.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 15
- Category: Soups
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: International
Keywords: carrot lentil soup
Adapted from La Tartine Gourmande, by Beatrice Peltre