Carrot and Lentil Soup with Toasted Almonds – healthy, delicious, French-style soup. Cooked carrots and lentils are blended in a blender to create a smooth, velvety soup. The combination of spices (cumin, coriander, nutmeg, chili, and, especially, the Cajun spice) create additional dimension to the soup. The soup has a well-balanced flavor – the sweetness of carrots is compensated by earthiness of lentils. The toasted sliced almonds sprinkled on top complete this soup perfectly!
I made this carrot and lentil soup with toasted almonds first time 2 years ago for Christmas, and it was an immediate hit with the family. Even those family members who did not like the idea of a “carrot and lentil soup” fell in love with it, finished their bowls and asked for seconds.
The special thing about this recipe is that it combines blended carrots and blended lentils together, thus creating a completely different flavor where usual sweetness of carrots is compensated by earthiness of lentils. The resulting carrot and lentil soup has a well-balanced flavor where you don’t even know that you’re eating carrots, and at the same time you do know you’re eating them: the carrots flavor becomes more subtle. The toasted sliced almonds sprinkled on top complete this soup perfectly! And if you’re a carrot lover – you’ll appreciate the difference in flavor lentils create. If you are not a carrot lover (like my husband) – you’ll love this lentil soup anyway, because of the flavor complexity the lentils, the spices, and the toasted almonds bring. And you’ll definitely love this soup if you’re a lentil lover.
Spices are very important in this recipe. Their combination(cumin, coriander, nutmeg, chilli, and, especially, the Cajun spice) creates additional dimension to the lentil soup. In my ingredients list, I emphasize that you could use anywhere from 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of Cajun spice – depends on how subtle you want Cajun spice be in your soup. Also, make sure to season the soup well, because with carrots and lentils, just the right amount of salt and pepper brings out all the right flavors. In my ingredients list, I put a minimum amount of salt (1/2 teaspoon) – feel free to adjust it up, the way you like it.
- 4 carrots
- 1/2 cup green lentils , dry
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon chilli
- 1 teaspoon Cajun spice
- salt and pepper to taste
Boil carrots in water until carrots soften and are thoroughly cooked. Bring 1/2 cup of lentils to boil in 2 cups of water, cook lentils until they are cooked. Add water if necessary. Reserve water from both cooking the carrots and lentils.
When carrots and lentils are cooked, let them cool. When they are cooled, add carrots in 2 batches to blender. Add first batch of carrots plus 1/4 cup of reserved water from cooking carrots. You can also use regular water. Blend until carrots reach puree consistency. Do the same with the second batch of carrots. Put pureed carrots in a large pan.
Add cooked lentils to the blender along with 1/2 cup of reserved water from cooking lentils. Blend until pureed. Add pureed lentils to pureed carrots in a pan. Add 1/2 cup half-and-half. Heat through without boiling. Add all spices, stirring constantly. Add at least 1/2 teaspoon Cajun spice. Taste to check the flavor. Add salt and pepper, adjust other spices if necessary, going especially generous with Cajun spice.
Before serving, toast sliced almonds in the oven preheated to 350 F for about 5 minutes. Ladle soup in soup bowls. Sprinkle with toasted sliced almonds on top. Grind black pepper over the soup.