I love soup. I know, it’s a big statement. There is this little cafe downstairs from my day-job office. They are friendly, and they make a good cup of tea and they have soup at lunch….$8.50 soup. It does come with lovely bread, but really, $8.50? It is not any more expensive, and is actually at times cheaper, than any of the other cafes around.
This soup was inspired by one of their regular ones, and it is so simple I have made it twice already. As much as I used to call North Sydney the ‘land of the food court’, I miss the choices terribly, especially Altitude. Oh Altitude do you miss me like I miss you and your rice-paper rolls??
Also, winter is really getting to me this year. Despite having two, yes two doonas [duvet, comforter, whatever], and a blanket, and flannelette sheets on the bed, I am still wearing a cashmere jumper to sleep in [seriously way less posh than it sounds] and I am forever craving hearty warm meals.
At $8.50 a bowl I had to give this a go. If you don’t bother peeling carrots it’s even easier. A whole pot will be less than $8.50, even with all organic ingredients, and will give you a couple of meals easy. Plus you know exactly what is going into it. The first time I made this I pureed it with a stick blender, the second time I left it as it cooked, nice and chunky, it was beautiful both ways. It’s even better with avocado, some Chili Sauce and a dollop of greek yogurt.
Spicy Carrot, Tomato and Lentil Soup
500g [1lb] carrots – approx 3 large or lots of small ones
1 large brown onion
1-2 cloves garlic
2 cans chopped tomatoes in juice*
3/4 cup dry French Green Lentils*
3 cans stock [or water with 2 tsp stock powder]
1 Tbsp Italian mixed herbs
1-2 tsp hot paprika [optional]
Olive Oil, Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper
Full Method in Under 100 words:
Roughly chop onion and garlic and saute on low in a splash of olive oil for two mins. Add roughly chopped carrots and saute for a further 3 minutes.
Add lentils and spices and stir for a minute or two to combine. Add tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 45 minutes until lentils are tender and soup is slightly thickened.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Blend to desired consistency or serve as is.
- French or Green Lentils are a bit heartier than some others, the red ones for example cook down to almost nothing in about 15 mins. I find that the green ones stand up better in this soup, but they do take a bit longer to cook. Make sure to rinse them in cool water before using.
- Try to get tomatoes with no salt, that way you can control it on your own. If all you have is ones with salt in them, you may want to substitute some of the stock for water – you can just add extra seasoning later if necessary.