Easy and conforting, a smooth soup or a complete meal as red lentils are super healthy and rich in protein, aka perfect for chilly days. With a spicy kick and a nice topping.
Red lentils are very interesting. They cook up quicker than other legume, have a low glycemic index, are very rich in vegetable proteins (+/- 24%), in minerals (iron and phosphorus in particular), B vitamins (including B1 and B9) and antioxidant. Thus vegan and gluten-free. Very flavorful, the French call them coral lentils due to their lovely salmon pink color.
With few ingredients, this soup is very quick to prepare. Consider adding a nice topping to make a simple soup a fancy dish : drizzle olive oil or freshly ground pepper, a dollop of cream or yogurt, drop chopped fresh herbs or citrus zests… Here carrots thin slices (blanched or briefly to steamed) neatly arranged and sesame seeds.
I used colombo spices (thus a blend of turmeric, coriander, fenugreek, cumin, mustard and clove) but my first idea was to make it with turmeric. Cumin or curry should also work well. And also why not a dollop of vegetable milk such as coconut milk.
A few tips for the mixing part of the soup.
- Mix the soup with an immersion, a regular blender or a food processor, depending on how smooth you like it. An alternative is to blend half of the soup and pour in the rest for a chunchier texture.
- If lot of water evaporated while cooking, you may have to add some extra water (or milk or even if you prefer coconut milk or any vegetable milk). On the contrary if you have the impression that too much liquid remains, remove some but don’t throw it away, you might need it when mixing.
Red Lentils and Carrot Soup
- 250 gr red lentils
- 500 gr carrots sliced
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon spices Colombo, turmeric, curry, cumin… or 2 if you like spicy food
- 1 Maggi cube broth or any chicken or vegetable broth you are used to
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 carrots
- Sesame seeds
- Heat olive oil in a large pot / saucepan. Chop onion. Sauté onion for about 5 minutes until golden, stirring occasionnaly.
- Meanwhile, wash, peel and slice carrots.
- Add carrots, red lentils and 800 ml to 1 liter of water to the fried onions. Season with broth, salt and spices. Bring to simmer, then partially cover and lower a bit the heat. Cook for about 20 minutes until carrots are soft.
- Meanwhile, prepare topping to neatly decorate the soup. Peel the last two carrots and cut small strips. I use a peeler. Blanch them briefly in boiling water (I prefer steam, up to you).
- Mix the soup (see tips above before the recipe). Adjust seasoning if necessary (spices, salt, pepper).
- Serve in individual bowls with carrot strips neatly presented (here just rolled) and sesame seeds (or the topping of your choice).