A simple store-cupboard ingredient Carrot and Lentil Soup to get you through the cold winter season! Warming Indian curry spiced lentils and carrots with a splash of decadent cream and textures of croutons and nigella seeds, make this dal-inspired soup a regular on our dinner table.
The method for this Carrot and Lentil soup is super easy, just chop up the carrots and onion. Throw them into a big pan with some hot oil and a generous pinch of salt.
Meanwhile, gather together the curry powder, ground cumin, red lentils, chilli and coriander stalks. Start adding them once the carrots and onion start to soften. This is definitely the best part of the process as the kitchen fills with 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 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. We actually had some left over sourdough pizza dough and just cooked a ball of it for these ones!
The important bit is plenty of olive oil and salt. Also, make sure they crisp up under the medium heat grill without leaving them too long that they burn. This can be a matter of an additional few seconds! And there is nothing more disappointing than to have a soup with no croutons because they burnt!
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 give the soup some texture. Alternatively, just pulse instead of fully blending the soup.
You are now ready to plate. This Curried 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. Also 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!
If you have no bread for crouton, we love to it this soup with our soft and fluffy Naan Breads.
Looking for a milder tasting, more European-flavoured soup? Try our Courgette Soup with Cheddar Crisps.
Curried Carrot and Lentil Soup
- Stick Blender or Liquidiser
- 1 brown onion finely chopped
- 2 carrots (about 200g) chopped into small cubes
- 1 tbsp 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
- 1 tsp nigella seeds
- 1 bread roll or croutons cut into bitesize pieces
- salt & pepper
- 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!