Soup!!! It’s great … especially in winter when it’s cold as …
I think I grew up with Knorr packet soups, not to say that mom didn’t make homemade soup, more to say that I liked and actually ate the chicken soup version. You really don’t know what’s in them though do you? Check the ingredients on the back! While they are convenient and handy to have around there isn’t really much eating in them.
Last night I made Val’s favourite soup, it’s a spicy carrot and lentil soup. This takes about 20 – 25 minutes most of that is cooking by itself time. There are a few ingredients but hopefully nothing you don’t already have, apart from maybe the cumin seeds and naan. The naan are optional and while you could make your own …
So you’ll want …
600 grammes of carrots
125 grammes of red split lentils (There are very cheap in Ireland if memory serves me correctly Shamrock brand? .. not so much in France)
100ml of milk
1 stock cube (veggie … YES we sometimes eat vegetarian food chez nous)
2 tea spoons of cumin seeds
A good pinch of chilli seeds.
The Naan bread is optional but goes really well with this. A cut of normal bread will do but it lacks that little something.
To get started … boil the kettle you’ll want 1 litre of water for your stock.
Peel and chop your carrots. Here I’ve got kind of freakishly giant carrots so there are only three. You want roughly 600 grammes. More or less it’s not going to kill you but it just may thicken up your soup or make it more watery. As the carrots were thick I opted to cut them lengthwise and to roughly chop them afterwards.
Take a frying pan and heat it up. No don’t add any oil / butter / liquid. Throw 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds and a really decent pinch of chilli seeds on. The more chilli … the more kick this will have so adjust the next time you make this. For now … just do as you’re told 😛 The milk will take a lot of the kick out of this.
Your spices are going to take a minute or two to heat up. You’re trying to activate them but you don’t want them to burn so keep an eye on them. Once you start to really smell them heating up remove from the heat and place in a different bowl. It’s my experience that this is like some kind of gas they use in times of war and it can really affect your breathing 😛 it should probably be illegal so keep an eye on them as it only takes a minute or two.
Into a medium sized pot put EVERYTHING … but just half of your new spice mix.
I find an espresso cup is the perfect place to put your spice mix.
Boil / cook your soup mix for 15 to 20 minutes, you’re not really going to notice that much difference but your lentils should puff up and cook a bit ( even if they stay at the bottom of the pot )
Now it’s time to meet your new friend … the hand blender ( I hope you have one as they are so handy … if not I hope you’ve got a normal blender / mixer ) At worst take a potato masher and try to do your best though it probably won’t be the same. (Yes I really must do something with that leftover red onion … but not in this dish)
Blend your soup. For me it’s into a nice .. I can’t tell exactly what veg are in here from looking at it consistency.
Test it, try a bit, though as it’s very hot it’ll be difficult to taste the real flavour.
You could add some more milk or cream if you’d like here. Though really your soup is done. Serve and sprinkle on some of your spice mix.
I’d highly recommend anyone who likes Indian or spicy food that they get some frozen coriander. It’s unbelievable the taste it adds to dishes. We opt for this one. You can always substitute in fresh herbs for any I use and it’ll be even more amazing.
Add a naan bread (In our case run it under cold water quickly to wet it and place it in the toaster for a minute or two)