We’ve officially entered spring here in Montana, with sunny skies and temperatures in the 40s. I’m confident (and hopeful) we will still get a few snowstorms but I am also happy about clear roads and only needing light layers for bike commuting. While we wait for the inevitable heat to arrive, there is still time to enjoy a few more soup recipes.
With a bag of lentils in the pantry begging to be used up, and a hankering for the flavors of curry, this entree fit the bill perfectly. A light sweetness from the carrots is brightened in both color and flavor by the magic of turmeric, and a little heat from ginger and red pepper flakes rounds out every mouthful. Pureed soups can be a bit odd in texture, but the creaminess of the coconut milk balances it nicely. It is perfect topped with a scoop of rice and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, and gave my crafting buddies and an excuse to try making homemade naan. (Verdict: yum)
I doubled this recipe and put it in the slow cooker to avoid standing over the stove, but it comes together in less than 30 minutes in a pot. Leftovers are great and surprisingly versatile. You can continue on the bowl of soup method, of course, but it’s also excellent treated more as a sauce on a giant pile of rice (M’s preference), or for a Buddha bowl if you’re looking to amp up the produce and lighten the meal a bit.
As is, this recipe is completely vegan, but if you’re interested in a omnivorous protein boost, thinly sliced steak or chicken is a delicious addition. (M opted to grill it with a bit of curry powder, which turned out excellent.) For the vegetarian folks, it also pairs nicely with a fried or soft-boiled egg, and works just as well for breakfast in this fashion as it does dinner. Lastly, if you end up with just a bit left, whisk it with a little olive oil and use it as a fun salad dressing.
This recipe is quick and easy and, with the exception of fresh ginger, comprised entirely of ingredients we nearly always have on hand. Surprisingly filling and flavorful, I’m planning to add it to the repertoire all year long.
Carrot & Lentil Soup
Adapted from Budget Bytes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 Tbsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3-4 carrots, chopped
1 cup lentils (uncooked)1
3-4 cups water2
1 (13.5oz) can coconut milk
1 tsp salt, to taste
1-2 cups jasmine rice, uncooked
- In a large pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil.
- Add onion, garlic, and ginger, and sauté until onions are softened and translucent.
- Stir in turmeric and red pepper, and cook for another minute.
- Add carrots, lentils and water. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat until carrots are softened, 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the rice according to package directions.
- Stir in the coconut milk and salt and use an immersion blender to puree to desired texture.
- Taste add extra spices if necessary.
- For the slow cooker: optionally do steps 1-3 and then add all ingredients except coconut milk to the crock. Cook on high for 2-4 hours, then stir in coconut milk and puree as desired.
- Serve hot, with a side of rice and naan; refrigerate leftovers.
1 To help avoid slight greenish tinge you see in my soup, use red or yellow lentils.
2 For a thicker soup, use three or so cups of water. For a thinner soup (more akin to a curry), use the full four cups.