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How to make lentil & carrot soup

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Quick-cooking red lentils are combined with carrots and seasonings to make this delicious, warming soup. Serve with crusty bread and a salad to make a light and wholesome meal.
What you'll need: 
500ml vegetable stock or bouillon plus 250ml water
1 tablespoon tomato puree
100g red lentils
80g onion plus 1 clove garlic
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper plus 1/16 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 medium carrot
Salt to taste plus 2 tablespoons minced fresh coriander
Immersion blender or liquidiser (optional)
1: 
In a large saucepan, combine vegetable stock, water and tomato puree. Bring to a boil over high heat, then add red lentils. Cover saucepan and lower heat to keep at a gentle boil.
2: 
Meanwhile, finely chop the onion and mince the garlic.
3: 
Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat and saute onion for five minutes. Add garlic and continue to saute for another minute. Add cumin, pepper and cayenne, and saute an additional two minutes. Add to the simmering soup.
4: 
Peel carrot and cut into small dice. Add to soup.
5: 
When lentils are soft and carrot is tender (about 30 minutes total), puree half the soup, either with an immersion blender or in a liquidiser. This step is optional, but does result in a creamier soup.
6: 
Add salt to taste.
7: 
Ladle soup into bowls and top with fresh coriander.
Conclusion: 
Makes two servings.
Tips: 
More cayenne can be added for a spicier soup.
Warnings: 
If you are using a liquidiser, do not fill more than 1/3 full of hot soup. Hold lid on firmly before switching on, as the hot steam can push up the lid.

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