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Spicy Carrot and Lentil Soup with Harissa

This spicy carrot and lentil soup has a delicious North African vibe courtesy of harissa paste, cumin, almonds, dried apricots, and tahini.

Portrait image of a spicy carrot and lentil soup spiced with harissa paste and garnished with a swirl of tahini served in a white bowl

Thick & Spicy Red Lentil Soup.

A rare segue for me from mains and sides for dinner. This spiced carrot and lentil soup is pure lunch fodder.

It will last in the fridge for 3-4 days, makes 4-6 portions and it is my idea of the perfect cozy winter warmer.

The spice in this vegan carrot and lentil soup comes courtesy of Harissa paste.

I love cooking with harissa, it has a big bold, and complex flavour. I use it in everything from this simple Moroccan vegetable tagine to these mighty fancy harissa garlic prawns.

It even gets a run out in my roasted carrot soup, which may indicate how well I think harissa matches with carrots!

For those not familiar with it, get familiar, I always have a tube in my cupboard.

It is a paste of many different types of peppers, garlic and chillies. This is combined with caraway, coriander, cumin, and, rose petals if you use rose Harissa.

We round out the flavours with more cumin, almonds, and dried apricots to give it the full-on North African vibe.

Portrait overhead image of a spicy carrot and lentil soup spiced with harissa paste and garnished with a swirl of tahini served in a white bowl

Frequently Asked Questions.

Can I make harissa paste at home?

I’m definitely a bit of a geek cook and try to make much of what I use from scratch, but harissa paste is not one of those things!
Sourcing the different types of peppers that give harissa its complexity is challenging.

What brand of paste should I buy?

I usually buy Le Phare Du Cap Bon, primarily because it is really easy to source.
It is pretty good although not really a Rose Harissa, for that I usually try and get Belazu Rose Harissa, which is glorious but more difficult to find.

How can I thin down this soup?

The longer you allow this soup to sit the thicker it will become. It is best thinned with milk, it adds a wonderful silkiness to the dish.
Do not worry if you want to keep it vegan because it works just as well with almond or oat “milk”.

Will this soup freeze?

Absolutely, pureed soups freeze wonderfully and will last for up to 3 months.
I always freeze in small portions in heavy-duty freezer bags, I then defrost and reheat using a “boil in the bag method”. I find that it drives off less liquid than reheating in a pan and it also makes washing up easier!

Portrait close up image of a spicy carrot and lentil soup spiced with harissa paste and garnished with a swirl of tahini

Serving Suggestions.

More often than not this carrot & lentil soup is lunch, it is quick and simple.

I’ll toast off some pita breads then slice them and dip ’em in.

I do usually add a swirl of tahini, some sesame seeds, and a bit of parsley.

If I were to serve this as a starter I fry up some carrot ribbons as I do in my curried parsnip soup.

Square image of a spicy carrot and lentil soup spiced with harissa paste and garnished with a swirl of tahini served in a white bowl
Yield: 4 Servings

Vegan Spicy Carrot and Lentil Soup Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Perfectly spiced lentil and carrot soup is a great vegan lunch or starter recipe, it gets its spicy from harissa paste and is thickened with red lentils, almonds, and dried apricots.

Ingredients

  • 100 g (1/2 Cup) Red Lentils
  • 300g (2 1/2 Cups) Carrots
  • 50 g (1/3 Cup) Onion
  • 50 g (1/3 Cup) Celery
  • 750 ml (3 Cups) Vegetable Stock
  • 1-2 Tbsp Harissa Paste
  • 50 g (1/4 Cup) Dried Apricots
  • 35 g (1/4 Cup) Blanched Almonds
  • 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • Tahini for dressing
  • Parsley for dressing
  • Sesame Seeds for dressing

Instructions

  1. Roughly chop the onions, carrot, celery, and dried apricots into a 1-1.5cm dice.
  2. Heat a medium pan over a medium high heat and add the oil when hot.
  3. Throw in the cumin seeds along with the onions, carrots, celery and cook for 5 minutes until they begin to colour at the edges.
  4. Add the harissa and lentils, then stir everything together cooking the harissa for a couple of minutes.
  5. Throw in the apricots and almonds before pouring over the vegetable stock.
  6. Bring to a simmer and add a lid before cooking for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils have swollen and cooked.
  7. Transfer to a blender and blitz.
  8. Pass though a fine-mesh sieve to get as smooth as possible.
  9. Add a swirl of tahini, some sesame seeds and a sprinkling of parsely.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 295Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 762mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 8gSugar: 12gProtein: 7g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

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