Monday, April 12, 2010

Carrot Cumin Lentil Soup

Okay. My unofficial blog break is over! I went home for Easter and didn't cook a thing all weekend. Last week was using up frozen gnocchi, etc. and so this weekend I was ready to get back to the kitchen with lots of little projects.

Drawing inspiration from this Lentil, Carrot, and Kale Soup with Crème Fraiche and Dill, this Carrot-Ginger Soup and the previously enjoyed Carrot Soup (the Moosewood Cookbook version) I made Carrot Cumin Lentil Soup this weekend. This soup is economical to make, especially if you make the broth from scratch instead of using the pre-packaged kind like me.

It is very filling and nutritious with a rich, warm flavor. The carrots sweetness is toned down nicely by the spices and lentils. The soup has a lot of texture, which doesn't always happen with lentils. Should your lentils disintegrate from a lack of paying attention (my usual issue) and/or you don't want to get carried away dicing I advise cooking everything and pureeing the soup. It might not look as pretty but it will still taste nice!

I can't wait to eat this all week with a spinach salad on the side.

Carrot Cumin Lentil Soup
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp Ground Coriander
1/2 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, Minced
2 cups Carrots, Diced (I made mine into small dice...just for fun...but that isn't necessary. I'm sure rough slices or whatever you prefer would work.)
1 Small Yellow Onion, Diced
2 Tsp Salt (SHOULD have stuck to cautious)
6 cups Veggie Broth (I used a mix of Whole Foods and Trader Joe's; TJ's is more tomato based.)
1 cup French Lentils

1. Heat the butter and olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot add the cumin seeds, ground coriander and ginger. Stir then cover for a minute listening to the cumin pop like popcorn. Remove lid.

2. Add the onion and saute a minute or two. Add carrots tossing them with everything else. If necessary add a bit of water to create some steam. Cover the pot, turn the heat down and let the mixture sweat 15-20 minutes.
3. Remove the lid and add the 6 cups of stock and 1 tsp. salt. Bring the mixture to a boil.
4. Add 1 cup of lentils. Stir. Cover the pot and turn down the heat, let the mixture simmer approximately 35-45 minutes or until lentils are tender but not falling apart.
5. Dish and serve in approximately 1 cup portions.

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