Thursday, February 11, 2016

Gingery Carrot Lentil Soup

Today was one of those perfect weather days.  You know the kind I mean.  It's that little surprise Spring day slipped effortlessly into a still-Winter month.  We all know it's not likely to last, making it all the more precious.  Today was a good day to harvest the last of the Fall carrots, and to dream of the soon-to-be-planted Summer tomatoes.  Each new season, every plot of soil, a gardener's blank canvas. Today was a good day.  It was a good day ending with the perfect bowl of Gingery Carrot Lentil Soup.

It's always nice to have the company of a few helpers for the harvest, and this was no exception.  I had plenty of pups eagerly waiting to accept any culled out carrot nubbins from the bunch.

This year, in addition to the Nantes variety, we planted Atomic Red, Purple Haze and Rainbow Carrots, which provided lots of color on our plates during the dreary earlier months of winter.  I especially liked the ruby flesh of the Atomic Red coins -- lovely.

Gingery Carrot Lentil Soup

4 cups sliced carrots
1 large onion, diced
1 T coconut oil
1 cup dry red lentils, rinsed 
2-inch chunk of fresh ginger root, grated
2-3 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 tsp smoked paprika 
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1-quart low sodium vegetable or chicken stock
1 can coconut milk
salt to taste

Heat coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium to medium-high heat.  Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5-8 minutes.  Add carrot coins, sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and cook for 2 or so minutes.  Next, add the ginger, garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander and red pepper flakes and cook a couple minutes more.  Add the stock and coconut broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently until the lentils and carrots are very tender, about 30 minutes.  Using and immersion blender (or a blender in batches), process the soup until silky smooth.  Season with additional salt to taste as needed.  Ladle it up and garnish with cilantro.  Enjoy!

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