Oriental carrot soup with red lentils and coconut cream

Oriental Carrot Soup This is a recipe for one of my „summer soups“. While soups are usually served hot, to warm up some are designed to be served cold, mainly during hot summer to refresh. There are some famous „summer...

Oriental Carrot Soup
Oriental Carrot Soup

This is a recipe for one of my „summer soups“. While soups are usually served hot, to warm up some are designed to be served cold, mainly during hot summer to refresh. There are some famous „summer soups“ like Spanish tomato and pepper gazpacho soup, French potato soup with leeks and cream „vichyssoise“ or different variations of cucumber soup with yogurt and mint often served in Middle Eastern countries. Specific type of soups are the „fruit soups“. They are served both hot and cold, based on seasonal fruit. Cream or milk and even alcohol like brandy or champane may be added. They are not that common in America and Western Europe but often served in Scandinavian, Baltic, and countries of Central Asia.

This summer soup can also be served both hot and cold, it just depends on your taste preferences and the actual season. The ingredients like coconut cream and red lentils make it kind of oriental. Finally the lemon juice gives it a touch of freshness. The whole flavor is based on carrots, however, you would not recognize it at the end. Usually, when I ask my friends to identify what ingredients I used they mainly say the coconut, the more experienced cooks add lentils, but rarely carrots. They think the shiny orange colour is reached solely by adding red lentils but it is mostly the carrot that brings the colour. In general you are facing a very nutritious and rich creamy soup thanks to coconut cream and lentils that both thicken the liquid. Red lentils are smaller than the ordinary ones, they soften very quickly during the cooking process and dissolve making the soup thicker. That´s why additional lentils and grated coconut are added at the end, we want to keep a nice structure. So no matter if the sun shining or there is a heavy rain outside, go for this soup, I promise a surprisingly pleasurable taste.

Oriental carrot soup with red lentils and coconut cream

Ingredients:

  • 2 spring onions
  • 200 g red lentils
  • 250 g carrots
  • 400 ml coconut cream
  • 20 g grated coconut
  • 500 ml water
  • juice from one small lemon
  • olive oil, salt
  • balsamic vinegar

    Carrots
    Carrots

Directions:

  1. In a big pot roast with some olive oil spring onions, chopped carrots and 100g of lentils for about 5 minutes. Then add coconut cream, 250ml water, lemon juice and salt and let boil for about 10 minutes until the carrots are soft.

    Onions
    Onions

  2. Put away from heat and blend until smooth.
  3. Add the grated coconut, another 100g of lentils and 250ml of water. Finish and season with additional salt if needed. Put on heat and let boil until the lentils are soft.
  4. Serve drizzled with balsamico vinegar and grated coconut.

Lentil Carrot Soup
Lentil Carrot Soup

A closer look at: Red Lentils

  • contain almost no fat and are very low in calories
  • they are sold whole or split into halves
  • contain a significant amount (1 cup presents a daily recommended intake of fiber) of both soluable and insoluable fiber which help to lower your blood-sugar level and so prevents heart disease
  • the insoluable fiber helps mainly the digestive system
  • they are cooked very quickly, the halved ones in 15, the whole in about 30 minutes
  • they get mushy when cooked longer and therefore are great for thickening soups and sauces

Lentils
Lentils

A closer look at: Coconut Cream

There are different coconut liquids on the market so pay attention to the content when buying one

Coconut water

Is found in fresh green coconuts (after about 9 months), is extremely nutritious. I´m sure you have seen photos from exotic countries with tanned tourists drinking through a straw put in a little hole in a coconut, what they drink is a coconut water, it is a great source of hydration for body. Also it contains a great amount of potassium that is why it is added to professional sportsmen beverages.

Coconut milk

Milk, in comparison with coconut water, comes from grated and sqeezed coconut flesh. It has quite high level of saturated fat, you may find the thin (5-7%) or the thick one (22-24%).

Coconut cream

  • Is thicker than coconut milk
  • You can make coconut cream yourself by simmering 1 part shredded coconut with 1 part water or milk until frothy. Then you take a cheesecloth, put in the mixture, and squeeze straining as much liquid as you can. The strained liquid is the coconut milk
  • The coconut milk is then refrigerated and allowed to set. The thick layer that gathers on the top of the liquid is the coconut cream

It is important to choose a good quality coconut cream, try different brands, the natural cream will separate in two parts, milk on the bottom, cream on the top. If you are about to make a cake, or your recipe simply calls for using just only the cream, leave the can in a fridge as it sets in a cooler surrounding.

This recipe has a very specific flavor so it is important to keep the proportions of ingredients for an authentic result. Try for example these measuring scoops, it saves you much more time than you would expect.