A simple store-cupboard ingredient Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup to get you through the cold season! Warming curry spiced red lentils and carrots with a splash of decadent cream and textures of croutons and nigella seeds, make this dahl-inspired soup a regular on our dinner table!
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Why You Will Love This Recipe
Carrot and lentil soup is a comforting and nourishing dish that’s perfect for cold days. It’s hearty and filling, and the warm spices like curry and cumin make it especially satisfying on a chilly day. Plus, it’s an affordable meal option that’s easy to make in large batches, so it’s perfect for feeding a family or meal prepping for the week ahead. Try our Easy Carrot and Coriander Soup or Easy Pea And Mint Soup for other other inexpensive options!
One of the great things about this soup is that it’s also incredibly healthy. Lentils are a fantastic source of plant-based protein and fibre, which help to keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer. They’re also packed with essential nutrients like iron and folate, making them a great choice for anyone looking to boost their overall health. Carrots are another nutritional powerhouse, as they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals like vitamin A and potassium. Plus, the addition of fresh lime juice and coriander gives this soup a bright, zesty flavour that’s both refreshing and invigorating.
Overall, this red lentil soup with carrots is delicious and nutritious that’s perfect for anyone looking for a comforting and healthy meal option on a budget. With warming spices, hearty lentils, and plenty of fresh veggies, this warm bowl of soup is sure to become your go-to recipe for the soup season.
Simple Ingredients and Substitutes
- brown onion: can be replaced by white or red onion, or a large shallot.
- carrots: you will need about 100g per portion. Carrots in this spiced soup recipe can be replaced with sweet potato or even butternut squash.
- curry powder: we used medium curry powder, but you may choose to use mild or hot, depending on your spice preference. Garam masala works well in this soup too.
- ground cumin.
- red chilli: can be replaced with dried chilli flakes (red pepper flakes).
- red lentils: we used dried red split lentils. They must be rinsed before use.
- vegetable stock: or any other stock that you like the flavour of.
- fresh coriander: also known as fresh cilantro. Stalks and leaves will be used. You can also use fresh parsley.
- lime: approximately 15ml of lime juice per portion. You may use lemon juice instead if that’s what you have.
- double cream: also known as heavy cream. If you are cooking for vegans, it can be replaced with oat cream.
- nigella seeds.
- bread roll: or croutons for garnish.
The method for this Spiced Carrot and Lentil soup recipe is super easy, chop up the carrots and onion. Throw them into a large pan with some hot oil and a generous pinch of salt and cook on medium heat.
Meanwhile, gather together the curry powder, ground cumin, red lentils, chilli and chopped-up coriander stalks. Add them all to the pan once the carrots and onion start to soften. This is definitely the best part of the process as the kitchen fills with the lovely fragrance of Indian cuisine!
Now it’s time to add the stock and leave the soup to simmer while you prepare croutons. These are a must for some added texture and, of course, substance! You can literally use anything, leftover stale bread, old crusts, any bread laying around.
The important bit is plenty of olive oil, black pepper and salt. Also, make sure they crisp up under the medium-high heat grill without leaving them too long before they burn. This can be a matter of an additional few seconds!
Now the croutons are ready, check that the lentils and carrots are cooked and ready to liquidise. We like to separate out half to blend and leave the rest in the pan, this gives the soup some texture. Alternatively, just pulse instead of fully blending the soup. You can also use an immersion blender.
You are now ready to plate. This Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup looks great with a swirl of cream, croutons, some fresh coriander and a good quantity of nigella seeds sprinkled across the top. Don’t forget to add the lime, which really brings another layer of flavour. Some chopped chilli can be added too, but just a few for me as I’m not great at handling heat like Ieva!
What To Serve Spiced Carrot Lentil Soup With?
Served with homemade croutons on top, this is a filling complete meal in its own right. However, if you have no bread for croutons, why not make some:
- soft and fluffy Naan Breads.
- 4-Ingredient Roti flatbreads.
- thick slices of sourdough bread or other crusty bread make a good alternative to croutons.
Storage and Reheating
Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. To reheat, simply transfer the soup to a pot and gently warm it over low heat, stirring occasionally until it’s heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat individual portions in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until heated through.
If you’re looking to make this carrot soup recipe ahead of time for meal prep, it’s a great way to ensure you have a healthy and satisfying meal on hand when you need it. To do this, simply prepare the soup as directed, allow it to cool, and then store it in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer. When you’re ready to eat, simply reheat as directed above.
If you plan to freeze this soup, be sure to allow it to cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container. To prevent freezer burn, make sure the container is tightly sealed and try to remove as much air as possible. Frozen soup can be stored for up to three months. To reheat, simply transfer the frozen soup to the fridge and allow it to thaw overnight. Then, reheat as directed above. This carrot and lentil soup is a go-to recipe that’s perfect for meal prep or an easy weeknight dinner, and storing leftovers in the fridge or freezer is a great way to make the most of your cooking time.
Other Soup Recipes
Looking for a milder-tasting, more European-flavoured hearty soup? Try our:
- Courgette Soup with Cheddar Crisps
- Pea & Mint Soup
- Vegan Creamy Cauliflower Soup
- Creamy Mushroom & Blue Cheese Soup
Other Ways To Use Lentils
Whether you have a cupboard full of red lentils or green lentils, we have a bunch of great suggestions for what to do with them. Here are some of our favourite recipes:
- Aubergine, Halloumi and Lentil Salad With Tahini Dressing
- Easy Lentil ‘Meatballs’ and Spaghetti
- Berbere Lentils | Ethiopian Lentil Stew
Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup
- Immersion Blender or Liquidiser
- 1 brown onion finely chopped
- 2 carrots (about 200g) chopped into small cubes
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 red chilli deseeded and finely chopped
- 100 g red lentils
- 700 ml vegetable stock
- 10 g fresh coriander stalks and leaves chopped separately
- 1 lime (juice only) ~30 ml of juice
- 2-3 tbsp double cream or vegan alternative
- 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
- 1 bread roll or croutons cut into bitesize pieces
- Heat a large, wide-based pot with a drizzle of oil. Add the onions and carrots with a generous pinch of salt and cook for 3-4 minutes until just starting to soften.
- Tip in the finely chopped red chilli (if you like it fiery, add the seeds too), reserving some to decorate. Add the curry powder, ground cumin, red lentils and coriander stalks. Stir well and cook for a minute or so until spices start to release fragrance.
- Dissolve stock in 700 ml of boiling water and add it to the lentil mixture. Stir, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are cooked and carrots are tender.
- In the meantime, cut up your bread roll into bite-sized pieces. Spread them on a tray in a single layer, drizzle with olive oil and season. Pre-heat your grill to medium heat and place the bread chunks under the grill to dry and crisp up. Keep an eye on them – they can burn in a jiffy!
- Once the carrots and lentils are cooked, remove from heat, use a stick blender or pour into a liquidiser and pulse until it's thickened slightly, but some chunks of carrot remain. Add coriander leaves and juice of ½ a lime. Season to taste.
- To serve, divide the soup into two bowls, swirl the cream to create a pretty pattern. Garnish with the saved chilli, nigella seeds and croutons. Serve with a lime wedge on the side!