Feel Good: Carrot and Red Lentil Soup with a Hint of Cumin

Carrot Lentil Soup (01) by MeetaK 

It’s been fairly quite around here, I know. I’ve been feeling rather low and a funny kind of flu seems to have taken hold of me. I say funny because it’s not a full blown flu – it seems it’s fighting inside of me. It wants to come out but I am fighting to banish it from taking control. This is taking away a lot of energy and I’ve been feeling a bit drained.

However, my spirit is still strong and I refuse to really rest. What can I say I am stubborn! I am not very good at being sick. While Tom gets totally exasperated by telling me to stay in bed, take a hot bath, drink tea, I will sneak into the kitchen when he’s not around and begin to put a few new flavor ideas together. There are so many things to do and I constantly have the feeling I am missing something if I stay in bed too long.

Our CSA season is almost coming to an end for the year. We’ve really been enjoying the fine produce that’s been delivered right to our doorsteps every week. Especially the lovely variety of fresh Fall vegetables. Beets, turnips, cabbage and a wide array of root vegetables have been used in a variety of ways for the past couple of months. I do hope I get a chance to share some of the dishes I have made.

One of the things that we’ve really loved this Fall were the amazingly sweet and juicy rainbow carrots that came in the box every week. They did not last very long, as they disappeared before I could even plan to make anything with them. They were mostly crunched on raw or sliced into salads. 

Carrot 2009 (01) by MeetaK

I literally had to hide this bunch as I was so desperately craving a thick healthy soup last week. It couldn’t be easier to make. Automatically I reached for Indian flavors, adding some red lentils and a good sprinkle of black cumin seeds. I usually tend to do this when I am feeling down. Somehow the flavors of “home” make me feel a little better.

The red lentils or “masoor dal” in India, are one of my favorites types of lentils. I like the fact that they seem to be very versatile and are cooked very quickly. I call it a “no fuss” dal as it can be paired with several different ingredients and plays off the flavors perfectly. In this soup it offered a wonderful nutty balance to the sweet carrots.

Carrot Lentil Soup (02) by MeetaK

Carrot & Red Lentil Soup with a Hint of Cumin

Printable version of recipe here.


650g carrots, grated
150g red lentils, washed
1 onion, finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons black cumin seeds
1 liter vegetable stock
125 ml cream
sprinkling of dried chili flakes
a good glug of peanut oil
salt and pepper
handful of coriander leaves, coarsely chopped


  1. In a non-stick frying pan, dry roast the cumin seeds until they begin to pop in the pan – approx. 1-2 minutes. Remove about 1 tablespoon and set aside.

  2. In a large pot heat up the glug of peanut oil and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the cumin seeds and chili flakes, ten add the carrots and lentils and mix. Finally add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for approx. 15 minutes. The lentils should be soft and swollen.

  3. Remove from heat and add the cream, then purée the soup with a hand held purée machine or in a blender until smooth. Place back on the heat and allow the soup to heat through again but do not let it boil. Season to taste and serve with a sprinkling of coriander leaves and the remaining roasted cumin seeds.

Sticky Note Serving Tip

Serve the soup with a dollop of fresh natural yogurt and some naan bread.

The soup is fairly thick but if you prefer it thinner just add some more vegetable stock. Make sure to taste it before you season it though as the stock can be fairly salty.



Carrot Lentil Soup (03) by MeetaK

Ummm! This soup gave me the needed energy for my restless being! It comforted and soothed every ailing spot. Tom and Soeren indulged into the soup with a hearty appetite. For them I added a little handful of crispy fried bacon. The sweetness of the carrots came through quite distinctively but the nuttiness of the lentils balanced it out making this soup just perfect for a cold Fall day when the energy levels are low.

You might like these hearty soups from WFLH:

Chestnut Potato Soup Mushroom Cream Soup with Thyme Parmesan Chips Tuscan Tomato and Bread Soup


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2009 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. Oooh ... my MIL would love this soup. I'm going to send it to her. :)

  2. Carrot and lentils in soup tat sounds new, looks yummy!

  3. yummy... I made something similar a while ago: http://chefatwork.blogspot.com/2009/02/carrot-dal-soup.html

    a meal in one! :)
    Get well soon.

  4. That is not only a "feel good" soup, but I bet it was a "taste pretty damn good" soup as well!!! Those carrots are gorgeous!!!

  5. Yummmm, thanks for this one Meeta, as you know I am not much of a cook, but this seems very simple and I love lentils, I'm going to try the crispy bacon tip too!

  6. I feel terrible today. I could really do with a bowl of this, it looks wonderful.

  7. What a wonderful blend of comforting flavours. Hope you feel better soon!

  8. A delightful soup! Very nicely flavored and pictures!



  9. I always made only lentil soup and veggie soup separately.

    But combination of lentil with carrots hmmm i think i will try this!

    Its getting cold in bangalore so i might definitely try this one Meeta!

    Fabulous pics meeta!


  10. Wow,comfort at its best.Love the redlentil in soups esp thgh I too am not a great fan of it.Yummilicious soup for winter.Hope you are ok now.

  11. This looks delicious, and now I know what to do with the red lentils I bought by accident one day.

  12. Absolutely gorgeous! I'm not sure why it took me so long, but I've only recently discovered the joy of using red lentils in soup!

  13. Look how simple something so yummy can be... or should that be look how yummy something so simple can be? I love red lentil and usually make dahl but this is gorgeous and I must try it! And this is the best medicine dear Meeta. Take good care!

  14. Nothing could be nicer on a cold day. A bowl full of happiness

  15. I JUST HAD A BOWL Of red lentil soup! Haha! I absolutely love red lentils in soup & i make it 2-3 times a week as it's so quick yet so delish (I love adding a scrummy salsa) As you said, it's sooo quick, healthy, wholesome! What's not to like. Love the photo!

  16. I always enjoy reading your post...I have been feeling low too from the past week or so and I'm loving this soup creation of yours.

  17. Looks and sounds wonderful. I could use some warm soup about now, and I love love love lentils.

  18. A lovely lovely comfort soup. Hope you feel good soon Meeta.

  19. Wow, this has to be the prettiest soup I've ever seen. I am so going to try this very soon. Can I use regular cumin seeds, as I can get black ones in Spain?

  20. Thank you for a perfectly timed post! I have all the ingredients, and will make some for supper tonight. I love the black cumin, and I can see how delicious it will be with the sweet carrots.

  21. Lovely colors!!! :))
    Hope you feel better soon Meeta...

  22. Sorry to hear you're not feeling well Meeta! Hope you're back to your old self pretty soon! In the meantime; very brave of you to still be in the kitchen! I hope you win the battle with the flu!

  23. Get better Meeta! I'm sure your recovery process will be quicker with this gorgeous soup!

  24. Delicious looking soup and as usual fantastic pics:)Do you get veggies to your doorstep literally?If it is, I envy you:O Get well soon!

  25. What a lovely and yummy soup!! Amazing click as always!!

  26. That is such a gorgeous soup! I hope you are feeling 100% soon!

  27. thank you everyone for all your get well wishes. the soup did help me feel better and so did all your comments and feedback. glad you are liking the soup.

    Shri - yes i really do! every thursday evening i get a delivery with a crate full of veggies and sometimes fruit from our regional farmers.

  28. Delish! We are die hard fans of masoor dal. In fact, it is the most popular dal in Assam and even here, we have it at least a couple of days a week. Had it with an assortment of vegetables last night along with some home made bread :-)

  29. I just had a big bowl of this wonderful soup.... I am (was) not very fond of red lentils and I eat (ate) them only for their iron content but wow, the combination of lentils and carrots is amazing and has changed my mind!

  30. I keep seeing red lentils everywhere right now, I think this is a hint that I need to find myself some! This soup looks so comforting and delicious. I hope it helps you on the road to recovery!

  31. Look good... feel good... Taste good... It's all good.

    Hope you're feeling much better.


  32. The only word that's coming to mind looking at these pics is "VIBRANT". The combination of carrot and lentil is making me drool :).

  33. Such a comforting bowl of soup! Love the colour!

  34. oh meeta! hope you are doing good now...the flu season here in chicago is notorious this season, this carrot soup seems so much more bright and enlivened as compared to the one we have been draining into our system out of can :) definitely got to try!

  35. really really comforting, and healthy too, well done! cheers from london

  36. Lovely soup Meeta ...Get well Soon Take care of ur self ...

  37. I don't know why lentils and carrots seem to go so well together. Do you think it's the flavor, or the color, too?

  38. Hope you are feeling better, Meeta! A soup with lentils, nothing better for flus and colds! Love the sound of crisp bacon and those carrots are gorgeous!

  39. I have never seen carrots with their shoots before. so pretty and such a hearty bowl of soup they turned into :)

  40. your blog is simply gorgeous! and your soup looks nourishing and delicious.

  41. Lovely soup!I also love to incorporate red lentils in my cooking. There are so versatile and taste delicious. Lovely picture as always.

    Get well soon,

  42. thank you thank you thank you! your comments and wishes are making me feel a lot better already. and i am so ecstatic that you all love this soup.

    lydia - i am finding the lentils goes well with almost everything!

    nags - seriously? well glad you saw them here first LOL!

  43. I just made your soup tonight and it's delish! I served it with lamb chops, mashed potatoes, peas and salad. Nice big family dinner.


  44. i am definitely trying this soup .. will let u know when i do..
    are they teh normal variety of carrots.. i have not seen teh blackish carrots..!


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