This is a recipe that I have been promising to post for quite some time!
I first had it late last summer, when a dear friend of mine (who I had converted to slow-cooking) made it for me.
The inspiration behind the recipe comes from Sara Lewis’ Book ‘Ultimate Slow Cooker’ but I have simplified the process and the ingredients further – to the same fantastic results (in my opinion!)…
Firstly a disclaimer – I’m a rough and ready cook in that I do not care much for measuring and following recipes. Experience in preparing food means I trust my gut feel when cooking, and can gauge much of it from touch, feel and what I can see. The ingredients I list below therefore are what I had to hand the last time I did this soup, next time I do it I may add more carrots, less lentils – whatever needs using up – just go with it and see what happens – you can’t go far wrong!
Slow Cooked Carrot, Ginger and Lentil Soup – Serves 4 (good sized portions!)
You will need:
- Approx 7 Medium/Large Carrots – this will be approx half a kilo, 450g or 1lb
- 1 Medium/Large Onion (2 if small)
- 8oz (200g) of Dried Red lentils (Washed thoroughly and drained – use no pre-soak)
- 2 cubes of Frozen Crushed Ginger – the equivalent of 2 teaspoons or 1-2″ of Fresh Ginger. I have recently discovered frozen ginger. I was buying fresh ginger but not using it up. Frozen ginger means no waste, less mess and lots of convenience!
- 1 Vegetable Stock Cube
- 1 Large spoon (approx a heap tablespoon) of Curry Paste – I use Pataks Balti, Rogan Josh or Tikka Masala paste depending on what I have open in the fridge.
- Hot Water
1. Peel and dice the carrots and pop in a standard slow cooker
2. Peel and chop the onion and add also
3. Wash and drain the red lentils and add
4. Pop in the two cubes of ginger (no need to thaw) or the fresh ginger
5. Crumble over a vegetable stock cube
6. Add a few grinds of blackpepper
7. Add a large spoon of curry paste and stir all the ingredients together so thoroughly coated and mixed.
8. Pour over enough hot water to cover the ingredients – the slow cooker should be approx 3/4 full – ensure there is at least an inch from the top.
9. Another good stir, pop the lid on, put cooker on low and leave for 8 hours. I actually tend to cook my soups overnight so they get left for up to 10 hours some nights and are still okay.
10. When all the ingredients are fully cooked, using a hand blender, blend the contents directly in the pot. Be careful as the liquid is hot.
If you are serving straight away and wish to make the soup creamier you may wish to add some milk (to desired taste)and stir thoroughly. If reheating later I wouldn’t add milk until reheating stage. I don’t always add milk, although milk is a good way to calm it down if too much curry paste has been added.
This soup can be kept refrigerated for 48 hours or frozen for up to a month. Never reheat in a slow cooker!
*Don’t forget that as tempting as it may be to lift the lid and have a stir or a sniff of the lovely aroma, that everytime you do it will increase cooking time by 20 minutes. Reduce the need to stir by always ensuring that you have stirred well when adding everything initially.
** Please note that I am not a qualified nutritionist or professional cook. My recipes are what I put together at home and all amounts etc… are approximate. What I write is my own experience of cooking the recipe. Ovens and ingredients do vary – just go with it, have fun and apply common sense at all times! Practise makes perfect!