Updated: Apr 15, 2020
Carrot soup has been a festive tradition in our home for years to celebrate both fall and spring.
This all began when my sister made a carrot soup recipe from the American Girl Doll Samantha's cookbook. It involves a roux, made with butter and flour, and incorporates the use of half and half to give it an indulgent and creamy texture.
I've made similar renditions over the years by roasting butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots in the oven with coconut oil, maple syrup, and fresh rosemary, and then blending the vegetables with chicken broth and half and half.
Then, this past summer, my sister made a fantastic vegan Moroccan carrot red lentil soup that my kids went crazy for (actually we all went crazy for it) and I have made it several times for dinner.
So this recipe of lentil carrot soup is really a combination of all three of these recipes, taking my favorite parts from each one, and combining them in plant-based form. It has all the flavors that I love without the oil, butter, or half and half.
This makes a big pot of soup that feeds our whole family (my oldest two kids eat like adults). So if you are a smaller family or have younger kids you might want to make half a batch otherwise you'll be eating it for leftovers (which is never a bad thing as long as everyone likes it)!
Lentil Carrot Soup
1 yellow onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
8 medium garlic cloves (6 if they are large), minced
2 sprigs rosemary, de-stemmed
2 Tbsp real maple syrup
4 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 C red lentils
1 can coconut milk or 2 C plant milk of choice
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
Cayenne pepper (optional)
First, weigh, peel, wash, and chop the carrots and set them to the side.
Dice the onion and celery and peel the garlic before beginning.
Then, to a large pot over medium high heat water sauté the onions and celery in 2 tablespoons of water for 5-7 minutes until translucent and fragrant. Add splashes of water as needed to keep the onions from sticking.
Now add the minced garlic, rosemary, maple syrup, salt, and pepper and continue to sauté for another 1-2 minutes, just until everything is fragrant.
Next add the chopped carrots and lentils to the pot and then cover everything in about 9 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally to ensure that the lentils don’t stick to the bottom. The soup is ready for blending when the carrots are soft and easily pierced by a fork.
You can then use a hand immersion blender to blend the soup to a smooth consistency or puree the mixture in batches with a blender (you will achieve a silky smooth consistency with a blender and a slightly more textured consistency with a hand blender).
If you are using a standard blender, return the soup to the pot and stir in the plant milk.
Tip: unless I am using canned coconut milk I like to add in my plant milk before blending because I feel like it combines better in the soup.
Salt and pepper to taste and add a pinch of cayenne pepper if you want a little kick. You can serve it during the fall months in a pumpkin or with some Halloween biscuits, as part of your Easter meal with asparagus, green beans, or a yummy salad, or as a simple weeknight meal with a side of oil free oven roasted potatoes or warm sourdough bread! Enjoy!