carrot & lentil soup

One of the things I have been doing in preparation for the arrival of our baby is making food for the freezer that will provide us with a mixture of sustenance and treats that we can enjoy with the minimal effort of defrosting them before eating. Soup has been high on my agenda of things to freeze, as it is so easy to make an enormous batch that will last for many lunch times.

Last week, a friend made this soup for me, and I loved it so much that I made up a batch the following day. The main flavours are carrot, corriander (cilantro) and chilli, but there is the hidden goodness of red lentils, which add a great amount of protein to this soup. I doubled the quantities below, which made about 10 portions, to give an idea of how far this soup goes.#
Carrot & Lentil Soup
2 small onions
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp ginger
1 tbsp curry powder (I used garam masala)
400g carrots (approx. 3 good sized carrots) peeled and diced
100g dried red lentils
1 litre vegetable stock
400g tin chopped tomatoes
handful of fresh coriander

1) Heat a good glug of olive oil in a large saucepan, then fry the onion gently for about 8 minutes.
2) Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder and diced carrots to the pan and fry for 2 mins. If it looks and smells like the spices are starting to stick, add a small amount of water - this works like a dream at stopping spices from burning, and doesn't add the extra fat that more oil would.
3) Add the stock, tomoates and lentils.
4) Season to taste with salt and pepper, then simmer for25 minutes until the carrots are tender.
5) Put the soup into a blender, along with a generous handful of coriander, and blitz until smooth.
6) If the soup is too thick for your liking, just add some water to thin it out.
7) Serve with a sprig of coriander and some fresh bread, or portion the soup up and freeze it!