Roasted carrot and lentil soup
As the seasons change; the days get shorter and the chill in the air gets heavier, soup really does take on hero status for me. So cosy. So satisfying and also, oh so cheap. I mean, seriously cheap and so good for you. What’s not to like? This roasted carrot and lentil soup is delicious, bursting with sweet carrots, fragrant spices and comfortingly filling courtesy of the lentils. There is a little heat from the harissa, but really it isn’t hot, it simply contributes to the warming hug in a bowl nature of this friendly soup and the orange helps to bring out all the gorgeous sweet carrot flavour.
I love a sofa snuggle and quite frankly any meal I can eat out of a bowl with tons of toppings and a hearty chunk of bread is going to be a winner for me.
Roasted carrot and lentil soup
1 kg carrots
2 large onions
1 small bunch of coriander (approx 50g)
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 orange (zest and juice)
2 tsp white wine vinegar/ apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp Harrissa
½ tsp garlic granules (or 1 garlic clove crushed)
1 vegetable stock cube
1tsp yeast extract or marmite
Salt and pepper to taste
Yoghurt (optional, to serve with the soup)
Serves 6-8 people
Preheat the oven to 200 c.
Peel and chop approx 500g carrots into similar size chunks, ready to be roasted. Cover in a little oil and salt. Cook for approx 30-40 minutes. Turn the carrots every so often to make sure that they cook evenly in the oven.
While the carrots are roasting, prepare the rest of the soup.
In a food processor (or by hand if you like) blitz the onions and remaining carrots alongside the coriander stalks and pulse until very finely chopped.
Heat a large saucepan with a little oil and then add the cumin, coriander, fennel seeds and turmeric and warm for a few minutes until they give off their fragrant smell. Then when the oil is hot, add the onion and carrot mix and stir to combine. Add a little salt at this stage to help the vegetables cook gradually. The salt will release water from the vegetables, so it doesn’t burn but reduces down nicely.
After 5 minutes or so, add the tomato and harissa paste and stir. Cook for a few more minutes. Then add the garlic granules, vegetable stock cube and yeast extract alongside the zest and juice of the orange.
When the vegetables are soft and cooked down add the red split lentils and coat in the vegetable mixture. Add about a litre of hot water from a recently boiled kettle and turn down the heat to let the soup cook. The lentils will absorb water while they cook, which takes about 15 minutes, so keep adding water every so often to make sure it isn’t too thick.
When the lentils are cooked, add in a little more salt and pepper to taste. It’s best to add most of the seasoning at this stage, as too much salt can make lentils a little hard when cooking.
By this point, the roasted carrots should be done. Add them to the soup alongside the rest of the coriander, leaving a little aside to top the soup with afterwards if you like. Turn off the heat and using a hand held blender, blitz until smooth. Add a little more boiled water until you get the texture that you like.
Let’s serve up the soup
Serve the soup with yoghurt, a little more of the harissa, the few last sprigs of coriander and a gorgeous chunk of crusty bread.
The roasted carrot and lentil soup will keep happily in the fridge for 3-4 days and is great to freeze in batches and defrost as you need. It’ll last in the freezer well for about 3 months.