So it was not my intention to have two carrot soup recipes on my blog, but when I tasted this incredibly spicy, creamy and hands down delicious soup complete with perfectly complimentary toppings from Gizzi Erskine's book Skinny Weeks & Weekend Feasts the team at Cosmopolitan were kind enough to give me, I just knew I had to share my version of it. I've only really made one big change; I've switched out the milk for single cream. Yes this makes the soup less 'skinny' than it was originally intended, but as I only use milk for baking, so I therefore only have it at the farm, single cream is more practical for me. A great tip for if you only have a little leftover cream in a tub, is to pour it into an ice cube tray. When frozen store them in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer. You can then use these cream cubes in later soups or sauces from frozen.
I've made this recipe to serve three people as it is more manageable for me that way, but you can always double it up to serve the original six people. Gizzi's original recipe also took half the spices out of the pan and using them as garnish, but I just like to leave them in for an extra hit of the spicy and cumin flavours.
- 1/2 tbsp Cumin Seeds
- Large Pinch Chilli Flakes (Red Pepper)
- 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 500g (17.5 oz) Carrots, roughly grated or finely sliced
- 100g (4 oz) Split Red Lentils
- 750ml (3 1/4 cups) Chicken (you can make your own here) or Vegetable Stock
- Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Total (Fage) 0% Greek Yogurt
- Small Bunch Fresh Coriander (Cilantro), roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Zest & Juice of 1 Lime
Either chop the carrots into tiny pieces (don't worry about peeling them), or if you don't have the patience like me, I think Gizzi's suggestion from the book to just roughly grate them is fantastic. Heat a large saucepan and dry fry the cumin seeds and the chilli flakes for about a minute, making sure they don't burn but when they release their lovely Indian aromas. Add the oil, carrot and lentils to the pan and fry for another few minutes until the carrot starts to soften a little. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the Coriander Lime Oil. The whole thing is pretty simple. Add your roughly chopped coriander to a mortar and pestle, bash to a paste, add the oil and lime zest and muddle together until well combined. You can obviously forgo chopping the coriander all together and do the whole thing in a mini chopper if you have one, but I think a good mortar and pestle is a fantastic investment for making sauces, dressings and curries, especially for a student. You can even use it to make mayonnaise. I use a ceramic Cole & Mason mortar and pestle, which while it was given to me by the guys at Cole & Mason and John Lewis, I would still be waxing lyrical about it anyway, as it is one of the best pieces of kitchen equipment I've ever had (because probably, because I don't have the space for it and I can always use my Mother's at home I have not taken the new cream Kenwood K-Mix I got for Christmas out of its box). My ceramic one will set you back £25, but for a bit more they also do lovely marble ones.
Remove the soup from the heat and using a stick blender puree until smooth. Add the cream and season with lots of sea salt and black pepper, and whizz up again. Return to the heat to make sure it is heated through, and serve with a good dollop of Greek yogurt and a drizzle of the Coriander Lime Oil on top of each bowl.
Honestly, I'm a little obsessed with blended soups, and I'm so sorry if you don't like carrot soup, because I have a couple of carrot and coconut soup recipes bookmarked and I want to try, and I feel that mash ups of may, inevitably, end up gracing this blog too! As it is the right sort of season for a good pureed soup, you might also want to check out my original Warming Carrot Soup recipe, my Pea & Mozzarella Soup or my Spiced Squash & Potato Soup. Alternatively, if you like things a little chunkier I have a Basic Chicken Soup recipe for you, too!