Thursday, July 29, 2021

Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

 I hadn’t posted about this carrot and red lentil soup yet, perhaps because I already have recipes here along the same lines, but looking back, I realize that it was the best soup I’d made in a long time. I had tried a few new soup recipes in the spring, like a bacon-potato soup with cheddar and chives (it was too watery, and based on reviews, others felt the same!), and also a tomato pasta soup that I made by combining the best part of two recipes (Bon Appétit’s low broth-to-fillings ratio and Ricardo’s pasta coated in turmeric oil), but it was just okay. And then I made the carrot soup and all was right with the world again. 

At the time, I had served it with gluten-free bread from the now-closed Little Aussie Bakery. I couldn’t find the Glutino all-purpose flour they recommend, so I used a Just About Foods – I think it wasn’t the best choice, and next time I’ll make sure to get the right brand. That being said, neither kind is low-carb, so I’m not sure what I’d use as a side to soup now. Suggestions are welcome! 

1 tsp. cumin seeds 
2 Tbsp. olive oil 
1 ½ lbs. carrots, roughly chopped (about 4 cups) 
3 large shallots, thinly sliced 
a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated (2 tsp.) 
2 tsp. ground turmeric 
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth 
2/3 cups dried red lentils 
1 ½ cups well-shaken and stirred unsweetened coconut milk (from a 13.5-oz. can) 
½ tsp. kosher salt 
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper 
fresh cilantro leaves, for serving 

Toast cumin seeds in a large pot over medium-high, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from pot. Heat oil in pot. Add carrots and shallots; cook, stirring often, until shallots are very tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in ginger, turmeric, and toasted cumin. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth and lentils; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until carrots and lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. 

Blend carrot mixture in a blender, in batches if necessary, taking care when blending hot liquids. (Or use an immersion blender directly in the pot like I did.) Return puréed soup to pot. Stir in coconut milk, 1 cup water, salt, and pepper. Top with cilantro. (It occurs to me now that the leftover coconut milk would be nice drizzled on top of this as well.)

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