– Spring Flowers –
Spiced Red Lentil & Carrot Soup with Frazzled Onions
Spring has definitely sprung at last, but I am not being lulled into a false sense of security just yet, we have had snow and frost in May before now, but whilst the sun is shining and the flowers are budding, I am a very happy little spring lamb. The crocuses are out, as are my violets, as many of you know already from my recent violet recipes, and the daffodils are also opening their petals and are nodding cheerfully in the warm breeze. My hens are VERY happy as the days are longer and warmer, and they are back into full egg laying mode once again………so expect to see lots of recipes with EGGS! But even though spring appears to have arrived at last, there is still that elemental need for warm soup…….I love soup all year around as it happens, but it’s never more comforting than during the colder months, and it is still fairly brisk “of an evening” as we say in these parts, so soup was on the menu yesterday, and a spicy one at that.
Frazzled! Now there is a word that I love, and use constantly when I am in a state of panic and disorder…….I am often “frazzled” at the end of a long day and in need of a wee glass of something to restore me, but, it seems that the word takes on a new meaning when applied to crisply fried onions, and frazzled these onions were when I served them with my spicy soup. The “frazzling” of the onions is essential to the different textures when serving this soup; what I was aiming for was crunch and slightly charred onion to compliment the unctuous creaminess and mellow spiciness of the red lentil and carrot soup, and it worked perfectly. I
dolloped swirled some crème fraîche on the top, just an extra security measure for creaminess and soothing coolness to balance the spice and heat.
I have decided to enter this spiced vegetarian soup into the No Croutons Required challenge for March, which, as luck would have it has SPICY soups or salads as the theme this month. The challenge is being hosted by the lovely Lisa from Lisa’s Kitchen this month and if you fancy entering into the challenge, you can find all the details here: No Croutons Required – March Challenge. I love lentils in cooking, and just 50g of cooked lentils provides you with one of your five-a-day, plus they are an excellent source of fibre as well as being low GI. They are also known to help decrease cholesterol levels, so a “super pulse” in the kitchen and a very important ingredient for vegetarians. Red lentils cook quickly and I often throw a handful into soups and stews and they make a great (and healthy) thickening ingredient.
That’s all from me today, I hope that you are enjoying the spring weather wherever you are, or a mild autumn if you are in the Southern hemisphere, I will be back later with a book review and some amazing home-made jam, as well as some other surprises! See you later, Karen.