Did your mother ever tell you that if you ate your carrots, you'd be able to see in the dark? Mine did. As a child I gobbled up carrots in the pursuit of superhero-like night vision.. until a boy in my class told me my skin would turn orange if I ate too many! Out of fearing of turning into an umpa lumpa, I abandoned carrots altogether for a while. I decided I'd rather not have night vision after all!
I still like carrots though - raw or cooked. They are just so good for you!
So today when I discovered No Croutons Required, I was excited for a number of reasons. First, it's a vegetarian food blogging challenge so it's a bit different to other challenges out there. Secondly, this month's theme selected by Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes is... 'Carrots'!
So how does it work I hear you ask? No Croutons Required is a monthly soup and salad challenge hosted alternately by Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa's Kitchen. Each month a theme is announced, and bloggers around the world are invited to submit a vegetarian soup or salad recipe fitting the theme. To read more about this food blogging event, click here.
This is my first entry to No Croutons Required, and in fact my first challenge entry of any type as a food blogger. So even though I have only known about this challenge for a few hours, I simply had to get on board :)
My recipe of choice is for a delicious and nutritious soup with carrots as the star ingredient.
Curried Carrot, Lentil & Cashew Soup
(from Vegie Food by Murdoch Books)
1.5 L vegetable stock
750g carrots, grated
185g red lentils, sorted and rinsed
1.5 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 tbsp Madras curry paste
1/2 c chopped coriander (cliantro), leaves and stems
1/2 c greek-style yoghurt
coriander (cilantro) leaves, to garnish
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the carrots and lentils, bring the mixture back to the boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for about 8 minutes, or until the carrot and lentils are soft.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan, add the onion and cashews and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is soft and browned. Add the curry paste and coriander (cilantro) and cook for a further minute, or until fragrant. Scrape the mixture into the carrot and lentil mixture.
3. Using a stick blender, process the soup until very smooth. Then return to medium heat to warm it up again before serving. Season to taste with salt and and bit of pepper. Serve garnished with coriander and a dollop of yoghurt.
Note: Garnish with a pinch of chilli flakes to give it an extra kick