Things have finally warmed up around here after a vicious little cold snap — or at least what passes for vicious cold in these parts. Today felt practically like spring, but the cold weather of the past couple weeks still had me thinking of soup.
Also, I spent a good part of yesterday using up piles of butter and chocolate on what turned out to be a disaster of a baking project (lesson learned: get an oven thermometer). It seemed like time for something a little lighter. And foolproof.
I’ve been making this simple little carrot soup for a couple of years, using a recipe from 101 Cookbooks as my starting point.
I add red lentils to lend the soup some body and provide protein plus ginger to liven everything up a bit. Even with these additions, the soup is a cinch to prepare.
Round things out with some good bread and maybe a salad for a healthy meal you can get on the table in under 30 minutes. I often freeze homemade dinner rolls and biscuits, unbaked, to slide into the oven whenever we want them. Store bought naan is another good option.
Don’t substitute dried ginger for the fresh, but you can use jarred minced ginger if you don’t have fresh on hand.
I like to serve this soup with a big dollop of cumin-spiced yogurt and a scattering of fresh cilantro. If you’re in the anti-cilantro camp, some thinly sliced scallions or chives might be nice instead.
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks.
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T minced ginger
- 1.5 lbs carrots, sliced into rounds about 1/2" thick
- 2/3 cup red lentils
- 6 cups vegetable stock or water (I like a mix of about half and half)
- juice from 1 small lemon
- 2/3 cup plain yogurt (preferably Greek, nonfat is fine)
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 2 T cilantro
Warm the olive oil in a dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium heat.
Add the onion and garlic, sautéing until the onion softens and begins to turn translucent, about five minutes.
Add the minced ginger and sauté, stirring frequently, for about a minute more.
Add the sliced carrots, the lentils and the stock/water.
Bring everything to a boil then lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until the carrots are soft and the lentils are completely cooked. Remove from heat.
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, then stir in the lemon juice and add salt, to taste.
In a small bowl, stir together the cumin and yogurt. Roughly chop the cilantro and set aside.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with a generous spoonful of the spiced yogurt and a pinch of fresh cilantro.