Carrot Lentil Soup with Fresh Ginger

Carrot Lentil Soup with Fresh Ginger | Food & Nutrition | Stone Soup
Photo: Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

As winter grips part of the nation with its icy fingers, nothing spells cozy comfort as much as a steaming, hot bowl of soup to combat the cold and this carrot lentil soup does not disappoint! The tantalizing aroma of fresh ginger and carrots will have your family begging for seconds so make sure you have enough to feed your clan! With beta carotene from carrots, antioxidants from turmeric and ginger, a ton of protein, fiber and potassium from the wholesome lentils, this hearty fusion soup is as nutritious as it is scrumptious! Served with crusty whole-grain bread, this soup would make a deliciously complete meal! So go ahead and slurp it up!

Carrot Lentil Soup with Fresh Ginger

Serves 4 to 5

Ingredients

  • 3 cups baby carrots
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric, divided
  • 1-inch piece ginger root, chopped into 2 large chunks + 1 tablespoon finely chopped
  • 3 hot green chilies
  • ½ cup yellow lentils, (moong dal), rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 plum tomatoes, blanched and chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon rice vine vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons vegan butter or ghee (optional)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons scallions, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Steam carrots until tender. Chop into small rounds and set aside.
  2. Combine ¼ teaspoon turmeric, the 2 large pieces of ginger and whole green chilies and lentils and cook according to lentil package directions until very soft and mushy. Add additional water as required to ensure that lentils are very soft, not al dente. (If cooking on the stove top, you will need roughly at least 4 times the amount of water compared to the amount of lentils. I used 2 cups of water for ½ cup dry lentils in the pan of a pressure cooker).
  3. Using tongs, remove the chilies and ginger chunks from the cooked dal (lentils), allow to cool slightly, then chop finely. Set aside.
  4. Heat the oil to medium high heat in a thick bottomed sauce pan. Add chopped onions, saute until soft and translucent.
  5. Stir in the cooked ginger and chilies as well as the tablespoon of chopped ginger and tomatoes, combining until blended, stirring for an additional 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Add remaining ¼ teaspoon turmeric, chili powder, vinegar and salt to the onion-tomato mixture in the pan.
  7. Add carrots and cooked lentils to the pan and stir to combine.
  8. Allow to cool and then transfer all the contents of the pan to a blender, gradually adding 2 cups of water until blended.
  9. Transfer back to the same pan, stirring on medium-high heat for a few minutes.
  10. Gradually add another couple of cups of water or just enough to get a “soupy” consistency. Bring soup to a rolling boil and allow to simmer on low heat for an additional 5 to 6.
  11. Stir in the butter or ghee. Season to taste with salt, additional chili powder if desired, per taste.
  12. Serve hot, garnished with finely chopped scallions.

Cooking tip:

Try pre-soaking lentils for at least a couple of hours to speed up cooking time. Drain the soaking liquid and cook in fresh water to reduce symptoms of bloating and flatulence that some folks may experience.

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Sangeeta Pradhan
Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE, is the diabetes program coordinator of Charles River Medical Associates in Massachusetts, chair of the Central Mass Dietetic Association and nutrition columnist for India New England News. Read her blog, Web Dietitian, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.