This time of year every normally drab office building turns into a festive germ-a-thon, complete with celebratory honking and wheezing and sneezes of every color and diameter. Even as we speak the nasty little buggers are bunkering down on every surface and lurking on every doorknob, just waiting for an unsuspecting office worker to come by so they can hop onto the first warm, moist human skin surface that presents itself and hitch a free ride up to an open orifice. And once they’re in, they waste no time procreating like crazy and before you know it, WHAM – you’re out for the count.
So arm yourselves, friends, and release a hair-raising battle cry against the ubiquitous cold germ! Whether for prophylaxis or post-infection, there’s nothing better than a hot, spicy, vegetable-rich soup.
My Curry Lentil Carrot Soup is particularly genius for the following reasons: (1) it contains carrots, (2) it’s ridiculously simple and (3) ready in 15 minutes, (4) it’s almost infinitely versatile, and (5) it’s chock-full o’ healthy goodness.
Here’s what you’ll need:
– 2 onions, diced.
– 4 large carrots, chopped. Very obvious remark: the finer you dice your carrots, the sooner your soup will be ready.
– 1 clove of garlic,minced.
– 1-3 tsp curry powder I like the Good Old Mild blend from Herbaria for this purpose, although no one has ever successfully explained to me why a jar of Herbaria curry powder needs to cost €8.
– Dried red lentils. Just, like, you know, enough.
– Homemade vegetable soup stock, reheated. If you failed to follow the detailed directions in my previous post and don’t currently have a freezer full of enough soup stock to last you through the winter, you may resort to a vegetarian bouillon powder.
– Garnishes of choice. Some things we’ve tried and found tasty: yogurt, toasted almonds or candied pecans, finely diced green apple, a spoonful of fruity jam such as mango or pumpkin, or a simple squeeze of lemon & some EVOO. The incarnation pictured above involved a dollop of soy yogurt and some chili-roasted almonds.
1. Saute onions until soft but not in any way browned or – heaven forbid – burnt.
2. Add carrots, curry powder and garlic to the onions. Saute another 5 minutes.
3. Add the heated stock (or the bouillon powder and boiling water).
4. Immediately add lentils and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Puree with an immersion blender.
6. Garnish & serve!
Bonus insider’s tip! The making of this soup can be carefully timed so that hubby bunny walks in from work during step four (fragrant simmering) – this makes a really great impression. In that case you’ll probably get a gorgeous bouquet of appreciative flowers, like the ones I recently received from my grateful soup-spooning spouse. (Just don’t tell yours that you’re using my extra-sneaky 15 minute recipe, or the frequency of spousal gifting may decrease.)