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Of Carrots, Mainly

Simple Carrot Soup with Ginger

This is based on a recipe found in Kurma Dasa’s lovely book Cooking With Kurma.

You’ll need:
  • About 700g carrots
  • 2 x 1in cubes of fresh root ginger (which yields a sharp ginger kick – halve this amount if you want something a bit more subtle)
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • About 2 tblsps butter
  • 125g red lentils
  • About 1 litre water
  • 1.5 tsp salt or more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
To serve:
  • Natural yoghurt
  • Flat leaf parsley
The Steps:
  • Peel and slice the carrots, finely chop or grate the ginger and finely chop the garlic.
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the garlic and ginger and stir briefly.
  • Add the carrots and saute for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Rinse the red lentils in several changes of water, then add to the carrots along with about 1 litre of water and the salt.
  • Bring the whole thing to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until both the carrots and lentils are very tender.
  • Remove from the heat and blend until fairly smooth using an immersion blender, food processor or whatever blending equipment you have.
  • Return to the saucepan and gently reheat. The blended mixture will be very thick, so thin it to your desired consistency with additional water and add more salt if needed and black pepper to taste.
  • Serve with a couple of dollops of natural yoghurt and some chopped flat leaf parsley. The yoghurt both softens the ginger kick and helps to balance the sweetness of the carrots. It’s an essential addition for me.
The Variations:
  • Use a mixture of carrot and parsnip instead of just carrot.
  • Peel and dice a large potato and add at the same time as the carrots. You can do this instead of adding the lentils, or use both if you like.
  • The original on which this is based adds 0.5 tsp of asafedita powder with the ginger at the start of cooking. This adds a certain earthiness and you can use it instead of the garlic.
The Results:
  • About 5 or 6 hearty servings.