I’ve had an old pickle jar full of red lentils sitting on top of my fridge and doing nothing other than looking pretty for far too long. (Don’t judge – those barrel-shaped jars are great for storing things like lentils and dry beans. Yay recycling!)
I’ve also wanted to make carrot soup for, oh, about two years. Shawn wasn’t thrilled with the idea though, so I never got around to it.
Now that the days are a tad cooler, it seemed like the perfect time to bring the two ideas together. I made a big pot of this soup one Sunday and ate it for lunch all week. Shawn didn’t want any part of it – too bad, because he doesn’t know what he was missing out on.
This soup is perfect for nippy fall days and it makes me look forward to pulling on wool socks and curling up with a book in front of the fireplace. It’s rich, warm, and incredibly comforting, but won’t leave you feeling weighed down.
Leeks and carrots give this soup a subtle sweetness and red lentils, which cook down to thicken the soup and give it an earthy, nutty flavor. With base ingredients like these, it’s so easy to immediately reach for the curry powder or cumin. I didn’t want to do that, and did everything I could think of to avoid reaching for those jars. Instead, I used lots of freshly grated ginger and lime juice to keep the flavor bright. Coconut milk ties everything together and makes the final soup rich and luxurious. Top it off with a few spice encrusted shrimp for a real treat or just eat the soup plain – either way, it’s delicious.