Creamy Carrot and Lentil Soup, decorated with soy yogurt and coriander.
I love soup, if you haven't figured that out already. I love making it, but I don't disdain pre-packaged soup. My favorite is Seeds of Change organic soup, which come in a foil packet. The Spicy Lentil Soup and the Carrot Coriander soup are my favorites. A steaming bowl of either of these after a walk through the Chilterns—mmm, mmm, good!
This recipe combines the ingredients of both—red lentils, carrots, and coriander (cilantro, for you Americans). The yogurt can be optional—my local grocer carries plain soy yogurt, so I try to use it up in as many recipes as possible.
This soup also contains cashews, as an extra boost of protein. It might be good with peanuts, too—for a more African version. Be sure to use vegetarian red curry paste—some brands contain fish sauce. For a spicier soup, use more; for less spice, go easy on the curry paste.
This soup is best preceded by a long walk through the cold woods.
Creamy Carrot and Lentil Soup
6 cups vegetable stock (homemade if possible)
4 carrots, chopped
¾ cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
½ cup cashews
1 tablespoon red curry paste
½ cup cilantro (coriander), snipped
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup soy yogurt
cilantro leaves, to garnish.
Note: To make homemade stock, see here.
Bring the stock to a boil. Add the carrots and lentils. Cook over medium heat while you prepare the remaining ingredients (about 20 minutes in all).
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, and sauté the onion and cashews for 5 minutes, careful not to burn the cashews.
Add the onion mixture, the curry paste, and the snipped cilantro to the carrot/lentil mixture. When the carrots and lentils are soft, transfer the mixture to a food processor. (Note: Even with a large food processor, I found it works best to whiz the mixture in two separate batches.)
Blend until the mixture is smooth, 2-3 minutes. Return the mixture to the original pan and reheat. Add salt and black pepper as needed. Stir in a ¼ cup of yogurt, reserving the remaining yogurt for garnish.
Pour into soup bowls and garnish with a dollop of yogurt and snipped cilantro.