Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

I really love this soup. We made it quite a while ago when Bea's book "La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life" first came out. I've had vegetarian soups before that were ok but not great, and this one is quite tasty so it was not forgotten.

I once tried to make a vegetarian soup using a vegetable stock from Trader Joe's, and that did not work out at all, there was a sweet odd taste I could not get rid of, putting half of all my spices in with no success, and even a healthy dose of sriracha sauce could not bring that soup to life! But no worries here with this recipe, it's all from scratch and tastes really great! I want to get better at soup making so you may see more soup recipes coming here sooner rather than later.

I love the way she seasons and combines flavors, she really knows her stuff, when the onions were cooking with the thyme and cumin I was nearly salivating from the smell, such a wonderful aroma and it was just the beginning! So when she says "stirring until fragrant" she is not kidding! This is a really easy soup to make, and the combination of flavors are wonderful. I did add more coconut milk at the end, maybe closer to one cup. But not much else was altered. Hope you enjoy. Recipe below. Bon Appetit!

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Carrot and Red Lentil Soup
(adapted from La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life)

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large tomato (blanched, peeled, seeded and diced)
  • 1 tablespoon double-concentrated tomato paste
  • 2 cups carrots (peeled and sliced, about 4-5 carrots)
  • 1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and sorted
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or more to taste)

Top with:

  • Lime juice
  • coconut milk or cream
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Crushed red peppercorns

In large heavy pot melt the butter over medium heat. Add the oil, then add onion, leek, cumin, and thyme, cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring until fragrant and the onions are soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the tomato and tomato paste, cook for 2-3 minutes until tomato has softened. Add the carrots, lentils, cold water, and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until the carrots and lentils are soft. Remove from heat, discard the bay leaf and transfer to a blender* or food processor. Puree until smooth. Return soup to the pot and stir in coconut milk. Reheat and check seasoning for coconut milk and salt and pepper. Serve topped with a dab of coconut milk, a squirt of lime juice, cilantro and crushed red pepper.

Makes 4 servings

* I used a Vitamix blender and it was done in about 5-10 seconds!

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