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Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

I know, I know! I’m crazy, right? A soup recipe? Don’t I know that it’s summer and the days are warm and long for the most part? Rest assured, I do!

However, growing up in Ireland taught me that summer can be fleeting and while one summer maybe be glorious (2006, anyone?), another summer can be completely horrendous (2007!). Cue moving to Korea where the summers are a mix of hot, sweaty humidity and thundering, lashing rain. On those days, I don’t find myself craving salads or barbeques but rather warm buttery toast dipped in piping hot soup. Even if my a/c is on, I want nothing more than to be cuddled on the bed with a mug of tea in one hand and a bowl of soup in the other.

The recipe I am going to share with you this week is one of my favourite soups. I found it on the BBC Good Food website and it has been one of my staples for more than a year. I have only ever made the slow cooker version and now that I have it at my fingertips, I do make some adjustments based on personal taste. However, if you don’t own a slow cooker, you can make this on the stove-top, as per the recipe here. My favourite thing about this recipe is just how versatile it is: whether you add spices, substitute them or add other root vegetables, no matter what it always turns out delicious. For anyone looking for some inspiration, the above website is a good place to look and it is one of my favourite websites to browse (in fact it’s on my blogroll).

On a side note, I made this recipe twice this week, the second time (yesterday), I made it with my friend, Kate, and while it cooked we made kale fries, asparagus fries and zucchini fritters (recipe coming soon). Afterwards, I was cleaning the remaining soup out of the slow cooker and I was balancing the lid on the corner of the stand. Well, I knocked it over and as it’s clay, the lid shattered. Heartbroken! Goodbye slow cooker! As I am only staying one more year in Korea, I’ve decided to not reinvest in a new one, so if anyone has any tips for what to do with a lidless clay slow cooker, please let me know!

Lastly, my friend, Becky, who edits for me and keeps me from over using commas and making terrible spelling mistakes, is on vacation, so any mistakes such as these are all mine!

soup photo1

Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

(adapted from BBC Good Food Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup)

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp cumin powder*
  • 1 tsp coriander powder**
  • ¼ tsp garam masala**
  • 1 clove garlic crushed**
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes*
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 600g carrots and sweet potatoes***, washed and coarsely grated or finely sliced
  • 140g split red lentils, washed and picked through.
  • 700 ml hot vegetable stock
  • 125 ml coconut milk
  • Naan or toast, to serve
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds – optional
  • pinch of chili flakes – optional
  • Fresh basil/ coriander  – optional
  • Plain yogurt, to serve  – optional

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, garlic and chili flakes. Let cook for around 30 seconds.
  2. Tip into the slow cooker and then add the vegetables, lentils and stock. Stir so everything is coated.
  3. Add the salt and pepper, stir again.
  4. Put the lid on the slow cooker and then turn on high for three hours.
  5. Add the milk and whizz up the soup with a stick blender. Put the soup into bowls.
  6. Just before serving, if using, dry fry the cumin seeds and another pinch of chili flakes.  Sprinkle on top of the soup along with some fresh coriander or basil.
  7. Serve with naan or toast and/or yogurt.

*I substituted 2 tsp of cumin powder for the 2 tsp of cumin seeds originally used. You can use the cumin seeds instead. Instead of a pinch of chili flakes, I used 1 tsp.

**I added the extra spices of coriander, garam masala and garlic. You can leave these out, but make sure you don’t forget to season with salt and pepper as this brings out the flavour.

***Rather than use all carrot, I halved the amount with sweet potatoes. I use 1 large carrot and around 3-4 smallish sweet potatoes.

TIPS

Make it your own: Add onion and/or add, remove or adjust the spices according to your own taste.  I like the addition of coconut milk but it’s not necessary. If you don’t like coconut milk, use regular milk.

Make it for a  larger crowd: Double the amount of lentils, vegetables and stock. You will also might want to double the amount of milk and spices.

Leftovers: This recipe freezes nicely.

 

 

 

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