Worldly Carrot and Lentil Soup…… this plant-based soup has been around the stalk. I would say it’s probably visited the United States, Thailand and India. It’s a well-travelled and diverse dish, full of hearty vegetables, protein-packed legumes, sweet coconut milk and international spices. Feel free to reduce the spices for a milder soup. I enjoy the depth of flavor from generous amounts of robust, warm spices.
Partaking in a rich, creamy, ping hot soup is deeply comforting. The soul and heart are warmed with each velvety bite.
Today is the type of day our family could benefit from some soup solace.
This morning, like every morning, I went outside to feed our chickens and gather their gorgeous green and brown eggs. I was confronted with horror.
We call the six hens “Our Ladies.” The kids, Snu Magoo and Littlest Guy, adore them – even when they peck their feet and squawk, as hens do. The Ladies are all friends. It has been wonderful to see the clucking brood bond together in chicken camaraderie.
The Ladies were decapitated. Their bodies dismembered and strewn across the yard. Sadly, this was the work of a person, not an animal. According to police and animal control, there have been a streak of “chicken murders” in our area of New Mexico. They are positive the perpetrator in our case is a person.
Who would do such a horrible thing to innocent creatures? A friend remarked, “If this is how they treat animals, I can’t imagine how they treat humans.”
We are heartbroken, shaken and devastated by such cruelty. It’s unfathomable.
We will miss The Ladies.
It’s time for a bit of stomach comfort in the form of soup. On a day like today, a wine pairing is absolutely in order. Dry, rich riesling – or buttery, oaky chardonnay – will compliment with the sweet carrot, hot curry and earthy lentils in the soup.
The soup comes together quickly. First, sauté the vegetables.
Then, add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook a bit more.
Add the lentils, stock and myriad spices. Simmer away.
Blend the soup until smooth.
Stir in the coconut milk…
… and devour piping hot.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with a slice of toasted, rustic bread.
I wish a healthy, happy and deeply fulfilling 2014 for each of you. L’Chayim!
Worldly Carrot & Lentil Soup (Vegetarian)
This recipe is loosely adapted from Trisha Loch’s Carrot-Led Lentil Soup.
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 large celery stalks, sliced
1 tsp. each: ground cumin, coriander, ginger, fennel and salt-free curry powder
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
2 tsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 large vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
2 Tbsp. double-concentrated tomato paste
4 cups sliced baby carrots
2 cups dried red, green or brown lentils, rinsed and sorted
8 cups organic vegetable stock or chicken stock, according to your dietary preference
1 bay leaf
Sea salt and pepper
1 2/3 cups unsweetened light, coconut milk (from one 13.5 ounce can)
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 large beet, steamed, peeled and diced
fine salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
Chopped cilantro, to serve
- In a large, heavy stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the butter and the onion, celery and carrots. Allow to cook until the onion is translucent and the soft and the vegetables are fragrant.
- Take care to stir occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for a two minutes more, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for three more minutes, just until the tomato has softened.
- Add the lentils, spices, stock and bay leaf. Season again with salt and pepper.
- Cover and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the lentils are fully cooked and soft.
- Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf. Add the diced beet.
- Purée the soup with an immersion blender. Alternatively, purée in batches using a standing blender with the steam top removed.
- Return the soup to the stove. Over low-heat, stir in the coconut milk.
- Reheat completely and re-season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Serve in warm bowls. Garnish with fresh, chopped cilantro.
©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, shannaward.com (2014), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited. ________________________________________________________________________