Growing up this was a pretty-much weekly item on our menu. My Mum, Julie, embraced lentil eating in the 80s along with her perm and shoulder pads. So I’m naming this as Julie’s lentil, carrot, tomato soup for her. The hair and fashions have changed but this remains a favourite in our family. She is delighted that her humble soup is spreading across the world!
This is the soup I still reach for when I need a virtual hug from home and is the soup my children are fed at least once a week. It has become one of the most read recipes on here and so many of my students make it for their families now having learned it in my classes.
I now make it for my sons and you will struggle to find a time when there aren’t a few pots of it in my freezer ready to be zapped for a quick, filling, cheap and healthy lunch. Red lentils need no pre-soaking. These protein-rich pulses (legumes) also contain a ton of fiber – 1 cup provides three quarters of your daily recommendation. The combination of protein and fiber help you stay fuller longer.
The measurements are not precise so use the recipe below then taste and adjust the seasonings to suit. I often double up this recipe so I have plenty for the freezer.
I like to serve this as it is or alongside cheese on toast for a comforting dinner or with cheese and crackers. The method is far from cheffy but the results are lovely.
Active prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 mins
Julie’s lentil, carrot, tomato soup – Ingredients
8-10 large carrots – buy organic and you won’t need to peel them
A 400g (28oz) can of diced or chopped tomatoes in juice without any added seasonings
1 large onion, diced
Around 200g (14oz) dried red lentils – I use the empty tomato can to measure half a can of dried red lentils
A tablespoon of tomato purée or paste
Enough hot stock to cover the veggies and lentils (around 950ml or 32oz). If you have homemade stock then great. Otherwise I use 1-2 Kallo vegetable or chicken stock cubes mixed with water.
A splash of red wine vinegar
To make Julie’s lentil, carrot, tomato soup:
- Don’t bother peeling your carrots if they are organic, just roughly chop them and throw them into a large saucepan.
2. Chop the onion into a rough dice
3. Add the onion to the carrots along with the lentils, tomatoes, tomato paste and stock. Lentils absorb a lot of water as they cook so be sure to have around 3 inches of liquid covering the veggies and lentils to start with. You can add more later if it looks to be drying out
4. Bring to a boil with a lid on. Then simmer on a low heat for 30-45 minutes until the carrots are soft and the lentils are pale and fluffy. Be sure to stir half way through cooking to check if you need to add more water.
5. Use a potato masher to mash the carrots and tomatoes into the soup until you have a rough, chunky soup like the texture in the photo. Then taste and season with salt and pepper and a sprinkle of red wine vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.
6. Freeze individual portions for fast meals in future.
You can now buy the equipment I use in this recipe through my shop. I’ve spent years testing my favourite bits of equipment so rest-assured that whatever I recommend is the best tool for the job and will give you great results without cluttering your kitchen with unused tools. You can also buy my other bits of essential kitchen equipment through this post.
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