Carrot & Walnut Soup with Beluga Lentils


Easy and elegant, this fall soup works equally well as an antidote for a long day at the office or the main dish for a last minute casual dinner party.

Lightly seasoned with mint and a hint of tarragon, this delicious vegetarian meal is easy to make with your blender. Beluga (or black lentils) are easy to digest and are high in protein, perfect for the aspiring vegetarian whose digestive system is not used to a high carb diet associated with beans. The walnuts give the soup some texture without making it feel too heavy.

Warm and grounding, soup is ideal for fall and balancing vata energies. The addition of lentils (which are cool and light) balance it out for the other doshas (pitta and kapha). Kapha should omit the yogurt and can add a little more cayenne. If your are trying to reduce a pitta imbalance, omit the cayenne and garlic entirely.

Serves 2 as a main dish

Beluga Lentils
¼ cup beluga (black) lentils, sorted, rinsed
1 bay leaf
Water (to cook lentils)
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
½ onion, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed
½ – inch ginger, chopped
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 small celeriac root, peeled, quartered (leaves reserved for garnish)
3 carrots, ends trimmed, coarsely chopped
2 cups water
½ cup walnuts, toasted
4 teaspoon mint
¾ teaspoon tarragon
Juice of 1 lime
Celeriac leaves, garnish
2 -4 tablespoons plain yogurt
Beluga Lentils: In a small pan, combine the beluga lentils and bay leaf with enough water to cover by 1 inch. Using high heat, bring to a boil, reduce to low heat and cook covered for 20 minutes (or until done). These lentils retain their shape after cooking. They are done when they are soft (i.e., you can easily squish them between two fingers). When they are done, strain and set aside.

Soup: While the lentils are cooking, pour the oil into a small pan and warm on medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Sprinkle with turmeric, salt and cayenne. Sauté until the onions are soft. Add the celeriac root, carrots and 2 cups of water (the vegetables should be just covered; if you add too much water the soup will be a thinner consistency). Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables can be easily pierced with a fork.

Transfer the soup to a blender (note: to avoid burns, it is best to fill container to ⅓ capacity and puree in batches). Add the walnuts, mint, tarragon and lime juice. Place the lid on the blender and drape a dishcloth over the lid (this ensures hot soup doesn’t escape through the steam holes onto me or my walls!). Blend to desired consistency.

Ladle into serving bowls. Top with beluga lentils and yogurt. Garnish with celery root leaves.


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