I grabbed the latest copy of The Mindful Kitchen magazine initially for the interview with chef Eric Ripert (I’m a big fan of his cuisine), but also wound up finding some wonderful recipes in an article by Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh. One in particular seemed perfect for the season: Carrot and Red Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk.
Hanh describes mindfulness as the energy that brings the present moment into focus. That powerful feeling of concentration, and being here-ness. Here’s a great quote from Hanh , “While cutting the carrot, please don’t try to think of the Buddha or anything else. Just cut the carrot in the best way possible, becoming one with the carrot, becoming one with the cutting. Live deeply that moment… it is as important as the practice of sitting meditation.” Love that.
The recipes featured in Hanh’s article were from Béatrice Peltre‘s beautiful book “La Tartine Gourmande: Gluten-Free Recipes for an Inspired Life“. As it’s the season of soup (but, as a soup lover I have to ask, “When is it not?”) I wanted to share several of Béatrice’s tasty creations, but thought the Carrot and Red Lentil Soup With Coconut Milk, would be a good place to start. And, yes, it is as gorgeous to look at as it is delicious to eat! Bon Appétit!
Carrot and Red Lentil Soup With Coconut Milk
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp finely chopped thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large vine tomato, blanched, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 tbsp double-concentrated tomato paste
2 cups peeled and sliced carrots (4-5 carrots)
1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and sorted
4 cups cold water
1 bay leaf
sea salt and pepper
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk, or more to taste
lime juice, to serve
chopped cilantro, to serve
crushed red peppercorn, to serve
- In a large heavy pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the oil, then add the onion, leek, cumin, and thyme and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring until fragrant and the onion is soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the tomato and tomato paste and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes, until the tomato has softened. Add the carrots, lentils, cold water, and bay leaf and season with sea salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables and lentils are soft.
- Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaf, and transfer the soup to the bowl of a food processor; puree until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the coconut milk. Reheat. Serve in bowls with a squeeze of lime juice, cilantro, and crushed red peppercorns.
As always, feel free to add/subtract anything that feels right to you! Enjoy!