While eating this soup last night, I mentioned my love of lentils to my husband. They are not traditional comfort food to Americans, but somehow I picked up that association. They are beautiful and versatile and they cook quickly. Lentils are the third highest in protein of all legumes and are an important staple in many areas.
I made some lentil fritters, a couple of weeks ago, that you never actually boil. I found it interesting that you could just soak and fry them and they would end up properly cooked.
This soup can be made in under an hour. It is nothing fancy, but it is soothing and healthy. I like the carrots just cooked through so that there are tangible bites to the soup, adding contrast to the smoothness of the lentils.
Lentil Carrot Curry Soup
2 bunches of 'new' carrots, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces (you can do this while the lentils are simmering, to save time)
1/2 onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup red lentils, rinsed well and picked through (remove any sad-looking lentils, or rocks)
2 T peeled and finely chopped garlic, about 3 cloves
2 T peeled and finely chopped ginger, about 2 inches of a root
4 cups water or broth
1 1/2 tsp mild curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 T Olive Oil
Set a large stock pot over medium heat and add the oil. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 - 8 minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for one minute.
Add the lentils and stir to coat them in garlic, ginger and oil.
Add the stock, salt* and curry powder and bring to a simmer. Cook until the lentils have softened, about 15 - 20 minutes.
Add the carrots. Simmer until the carrots are soft, about 10 minutes more and serve.
* Depending on the salt content of your stock, you may want to add more. Taste it after bringing to a boil and adjust as necessary.