A tasty variation on red lentil soup. The zesty flavours made me feel like a grown-up while solo-parenting over the holiday weekend. Wish the 5-year-old would have tried it though!
1 Tbsp butter [or margarine/oil to make a vegan version]
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 red onion sliced
1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp finely chopped thyme
2 garlic cloves minced
1 large tomato, blanched, peeled, seeded and diced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cups peeled and sliced carrots (approx. 4-5 carrots)
1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and sorted
1 bay leaf
sea salt and pepper
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk, or more to taste
lime juice, to serve
chopped cilantro, to serve
crushed red peppercorns, to serve
In a large heavy pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the oil, then add the onion, leek, cumin, and thyme and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring until fragrant and the onion is soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the tomato and tomato paste and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes, until the tomato has softened. Add the carrots, lentils, cold water, and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables and lentils are soft.
Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaf, and transfer the soup to the bowl of a food processor; puree until smooth. [We just used our immersion blender right in the pot once the soup had cooled down a bit.] Return the soup to the pot and stir in the coconut milk. Reheat and check the seasoning for coconut milk and sea salt and pepper. Serve in bowls with a squeeze of lime juice, cilantro, and crushed red peppercorns. The lime juice is key — really elevates the dish!
Adapted from La Tartine Gourmande.