Soup always reminds me of my grandmother. Even in the super hot months in Chennai, at least once a week, there'd be soup made at home. Sometimes she'd throw in whatever vegetables she'd find in the fridge, other times she'd throw in all the water from the boiled chickpeas into it, and there were times she'd just feel her way through the recipe.
I never really enjoyed that. Fortunately burgers or cutlets were almost always a part of the meal, so you'd see me scarfing them down with maybe half a bowl of soup.
Over the years though, I've understood why I didn't like that kind of soup. It wasn't because it was all bad, but because the flavours were just too mixed for me. I don't think I liked the potato creep up in a nice tomato soup or bits of corn and bottle gourd floating in a pumpkin soup. I realise that I like soups to stay true to their original flavours.
This soup, however, I learnt from my friend Amrita, who, incidentally is doing baked goodie baskets for Valentines Day, so if you're in Delhi (or not), hop across to her Facebook page and check that out. This soup was something she was going to make for one of the Masterchef rounds, where we were both together. She didn't have to, but it sounded very nice.
So when I came back from the competition, I decided to try the soup at home. It turned out to be a super simple soup that required very little attention. And can be made three ways - you can either roast and puree the carrot, you can boil the carrots and the lentils together or you can boil and puree the carrot and add lentil and cook it down - any which way, the results are superb.
I do it whatever way is convenient for me. And while you can omit the zest and you use canned juice instead of fresh, just remember that there's nothing quite like fresh ingredients to give it that je ne sais quoi. Either ways, this soup is vibrant, filling and really quite beautiful.
Carrot Orange Red Lentil Soup
Adapted BBC Good Food
1 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp butter
225g carrots diced
75g red lentils
400 + 200 ml vegetable stock or water
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 tsp cumin powder
300ml orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
2 tbsp low-fat natural yogurt
fresh chopped coriander to garnish
pinch of paprika
1. Wash and soak the red lentils for 20 minutes.
2. Chop the onions and the garlic. Peel and dice the carrots.
3. In a saucepan, saute the onions and garlic until soft. Add carrots and red lentil to it. Add 400 ml of the water/stock Let it cook until the lentil is soft.
4. Cool for 5 minutes and puree. Add the remaining stock, orange zest, cumin powder and salt and pepper into it.
5. Stir in the orange juice and turn off the gas.
6. To serve. Top with a dollop of yogurt, paprika and coriander
Am sending this Bookmarked Recipes that is hosted by Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes