A delicious, vibrant soup that’s sweet but also savory. The lentils give the soup body, protein, and fiber, as well as minerals. Carrots are a fantastic vegetable and are great for warming up various constitutions, especially when eaten in the cooler months. This is typical of an Ayurvedic soup as it’s light and nourishing—the simpler the food, the easier it is to digest. Eat as an appetizer or stir in some cooked rice for a more substantial meal.–Anjum Anand
LC What the Heck's Ayurveda (and How do I Pronounce It, Please)? Note
Okay. Here’s our terribly oversimplified attempt at explaining Ayurveda (pronounced aa-yur-VAY-dah. It’s an ancient medical tradition in Indian culture, and it’s founded on the principle that there are three basic body types, or, if you will, constitutions–vata, pitta, and kapha. Certain dietary and lifestyle choices either bring you into balance or bump you further out of balance. Scoff if you will, but it’s been around a heck of a lot longer than any of us—five millennia at last count. Book after book has been written on the topic, and a simple Google search will turn up countless little quizzes you can take to find out your body type and how to take what Ayurvedic practitioners refer to as “intelligent action” in your life. Don’t know about you, but we could sure use some more intelligence in our lives. What are you waiting for?
Carrot and Lentil Soup Recipe
Hands-On Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes | Serves 2, generously
- 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons ghee or vegetable oil
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger, depending on how zingy you like things
- 2 small garlic cloves, chpped
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper
- 11 ounces carrots (that’s 3 to 5 smallish or slender carrots), peeled and thickly sliced
- 2 tablespoons red lentils, washed
- 2 3/4 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock, or 1/2 teaspoon vegetable bouillon stock powder dissolved in 2 3/4 cups water
- Handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1. Heat the ghee or oil in a small nonstick saucepan. Add the onion and cook gently until golden, then add the ginger and garlic and stir for 40 to 60 seconds. Add the coriander, cumin, and salt and pepper and stir for 20 seconds. Add the carrots, lentils, and stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- 2. Take the pan off the heat and use an immersion blender to puree it or set aside for at least 10 minutes and then puree it in a blender. If the consistency is too thick for your liking, just add a little water and blitz again.
- 3. Reheat over low heat, taste, and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Serve topped with cilantro.
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Carrot and Lentil Soup Recipe © 2011 Anjum Anand. Photo © 2011 Lisa Linder. All rights reserved.