It’s been 2 years (YEARS!) since I’ve eaten red meat. That’s a long time. That said, I haven’t had the most consistent path with red meat…. I didn’t love it growing up and in fact, I didn’t eat it from ages 15-27. My mom used to make me eat meatloaf and I would literally gag every time I ate it. I’m sure she loved that.
After years of not eating it, I started eating it again when I went to Japan (long story why for another day :)). Then when I turned 38, I stopped again after watching a documentary on what it does to your body and the planet. It’s just been one of those things I never truly loved and at this point in my life, I have no desire to ever eat again.
So, over the years, I’ve turned to other kinds of proteins – fish/shellfish, beans/lentils and chicken (a couple of times a month). No beef, no pork. And I’ll tell you, I feel much better for it! Lighter, happier and cleaner.
This carrot lentil soup was one of my go-to’s when I first stopped eating meat. It was filling in a way different from pasta and rice carbs. And it was so so good. It’s been so long since I’ve made it but I just recently had a craving for it. So, it’s your lucky day! I’m sharing how I make a really yummy version of this soup below and I know you’ll love it, too. The original recipe called for more liquid and red pepper flakes, but I like a thicker, not as spicy soup. I’ve linked the original below if you want it thinner and spicier!
Let me know your thoughts about it in the comments below! Happy eating!
Carrot Lentil Soup
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 small can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, lightly drained
- 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup fresh spinach, or green of choice
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
- Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion & carrot and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often.
- Pour in the lentils, broth and the water. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
- Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender (or use an immersion blender in the pot). Securely fasten the lid and purée the soup until smooth. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot.
- Add the greens and cook for 2-5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing.
- Serve while hot and enjoy!