Spiced carrot & lentil soup

Spiced carrot & lentil soup

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(558 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 15 mins

Skill level



Serves 4

A delicious, spicy blend, packed full of iron and low fat to boot. It's ready in under half an hour or can be made in a slow cooker

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • To make dairy-free, see 'try' below
  • Vegetarian
  • Dairy-free
Nutrition info


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  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 600g carrots, washed and coarsely grated (no need to peel)
  • 140g split red lentils
  • 1l hot vegetable stock (from a cube is fine)
  • 125ml milk
  • plain yogurt and naan bread, to serve

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  1. Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for 1 min, or until they start to jump around the pan and release their aromas. Scoop out about half of the seeds with a spoon and set aside. Add the oil, carrot, lentils, stock and milk to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have swollen and softened.
  2. Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth (or leave it chunky if you prefer). Season to taste and finish with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of the reserved toasted spices. Serve with warmed naan breads.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2005

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Show comments
qas5saq's picture

A winner! I used a bunch of fresh coriander instead of the seeds, and cut the carrots into chunks. Didn't bother with the yoghurt. Still yummy!

millimoomoo's picture

This is so simple to make and really delicious. I've made it lots of times already this winter. I use my food processor to grate the carrot, could not be bothered to grate or chop myself. I don't adapt the recipe at all, find it very tasty just the way it is.

subido's picture

This soup is delicious. I chop the carrots rather than grate them. You would never think it was so easy to make.

Bigspottedcat's picture

I blitzed in some fresh parsley at the end. Its quick and easy

katie89's picture

It sounds like a lovely soup - but how is it in the 'dairy free' range when there's milk in it?

gillspittle's picture

I've always made it with almond, soy or rice milk as my sons have dairy allergies. Still turns out great....even the son who allegedly hates carrots loves this soup : )

billiejo's picture

Have a look in the 'tips' box underneath the recipe, you'll need to scroll across, it says how to make it with coconut milk

Nyks's picture

Quick, easy and very tasty.

mimsy1's picture

This was so tasty. Did an onion and clove of garlic with the cumin first and chopped rather than grated carrots. Marvellous. Already been asked for it again!

kitty's picture

I made this soup to use up an abundance of carrots and will certainly be making it again. It was so easy to make and delicious - the chilli gave it a great kick. I added onion and a little garlic, like others have suggested, and there was plenty of flavour. Thickness was perfect for a hearty autumn soup.

cks133's picture

Awesome soup! I added half a teaspoon of tumeric which gives more body to the flavour and a teaspoon of sugar helped too.

twoboots's picture

This was lovely. Like others i sauteed a red onion and 2 cloves of garlic, then i tempered the spices in the oil, before browning the lentils and carrots for a minute or two. I also added dried ginger. I used half chicken and half veggie stock. I didnt bother with the dollop of yoghurt

Odysseus76's picture
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This soup was delicious. I didn't add milk and cooked the whole lot in one go in a slow cooker. Will definitely make this again and recommend to others

samantha11's picture

I replaced the carrots with sweet potatoes and it was yummy! I also used creme fraiche instead of yogurt!

chocolatespiders's picture
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This soup is absolutely yummy. I added an onion at the start. I have soup every week day lunchtime even during summer and this is so tasty it will certainly be one of my regulars.

tamylucy's picture
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Forgot to rate it!

tamylucy's picture
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This soups is amazing, I love the taste of the cumin seeds mixed with carrots and lentils. I don't find it bland at all. I will surely make it again!

donnamh's picture

I made a few changes to this - I fried some red onion with the cumin and chilli, replaced some of the carrots with some butternut squash, used a bit of salt and pepper, and omitted the milk. It turned out so tasty! The sweetness of the carrots and squash went great with the chilli flavour (though, admittedly, I was a bit heavy handed with the chilli and cumin - something I'll avoid next time, as it was a pinch too eye-wateringly spicy).

It did turn out very thick, more like a puree than a soup! So I can see how the milk may have helped, or perhaps a bit more vegetable stock in future.

memmarmite's picture
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Made this today using the slow cooker method. I did things slightly differently - I added all the spices to the slow cooker (not just half) along with an onion, a fat clove of garlic and the oil. I switched my slow cooker to high and let them all cook off together for a bit while I sorted out the other ingredients, then added them all and let it do its thing for a few hours.

Once cooked, I used approximately twice the stated quantity of light coconut milk (around half a tin) - mostly because I wanted to add a touch more liquid.

Really tasty soup, especially considering how little effort went into it. Great one to make ahead and freeze.

seaslave's picture

I've made this time and time again and although not listed in the ingredients, salt and pepper make all the difference to the bland taste. I omit the chilli flakes as I don't like food too spicy but find with the right seasoning its perfect. All my friends love it when they come to visit and its simmering away in the hob (even the ones who aren't soup fans)