Monday, 24 January 2011

Carrot, Lentil and Coriander Soup

I figured it was time to throw the spotlight back onto a vegetable that most people find hard to fault-- the humble carrot. I think it's one of the few vegetables I actually liked as a child, maybe because it's in a happy orange colour.

Carrot and coriander make up one of the most classic flavour combinations. I was inspired by the coriander to include something that's often combined with coriander and other similar spices: lentils! The lentils help thicken the soup out without the need for cream or whatever. This makes the soup a lot heartier too, and very savoury and more-ish. Because I couldn't decide whether to leave it smooth or chunky, I decided to make it both, which turned out really nice because you get bits of chunky carrot or lentils in an otherwise thick and creamy soup!

Carrot, Lentil and Coriander soup
serves 4
3 large carrots (about 450g), peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1/2 cup red lentils, soaked in advance
1 heaped tsp ground coriander
about 3 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped finely
about 1 litre of homemade vegetable or chicken stock
sea salt, black pepper
2 tbsp butter

1. Melt 1 tbsp butter over medium high heat in a big pot, then add the onions, carrots garlic and cook for a further 5 min until the onions become translucent.
2. Add the ground coriander, stir about 1 min more till onions are just starting to brown, then add the soaked lentils and stock, and cook for about 20-25 min till the carrots are really tender and the lentils are melting.
3. Add seasoning and mash with a potato masher. (I didn't have a blender then. The next time I did this, I pureed half of it.) Add a bit more stock/water to thin it out if you want.

4. Stir in the other tbsp of butter and the chopped coriander leaves. Garnish with a pretty coriander leaf (:

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