Carrot and Red Lentil Soup: Budget Recipe

This soup costs €0.18 per portion and takes about 20 minutes to prepare. The recipe is very easy, but we’ve written it out in lots of detail in case you’re new to cooking. We’ve used a blender to make it smooth, but it’s equally delicious chunky.

Ingredients (for 2 servings):
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 l vegetable broth*
2 carrots, washed, topped and tailed, and sliced (no need to peel!)
80g red lentils, picked over to make sure there’s no grit
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp smoked paprika

1. Heat a stainless steel saucepan over a medium low heat until hot. Reduce the heat slightly, add the onions and keep stirring until the onions start to take on a little colour and release their aroma (about 2 minutes). Turn the heat right down to low before adding the garlic for about 30 seconds.
2. Add the broth, carrots, and red lentils. Crumble the herbs between your finger and thumb, if desired, so that they release more of their fragrance.
3. Raise the heat to high until bubbles start appearing around the sides of the pan. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes to make sure the lentils aren’t sticking.
4. Add the smoked paprika, and stir.
5. At this point, you can blend the soup with an immersion (stick) blender or in a jug blender, following the instructions that came with your blender.
6. Serve, and enjoy.

Red lentil, coconut milk and sea vegetable spread

Simple, savoury and rich, this makes for a luxurious addition to fresh bread, socca, with seitan, tofu and other dishes. Shown here with breaded eringi mushroom crostini and lightly wilted spinach.


1 cup red lentils
2 cups vegetable stock
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 2″)
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (I use full fat)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/4t coarse sea salt
2T nutritional yeast
1T nori flakes
2t purple dulse flakes
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: You can also make this on the stove top or bake in a ceramic dish, but both require more attention. If you want to keep the spread close to white, stir more frequently. If you’d like a fond, don’t stir as much. Sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, capers, and other high flavour ingredients would also make nice additions.


Warm a slowcooker on high. Add everything up to and including the sea salt. Cover and cook on high, stirring periodically, reducing until you have about 2 1/2 cups — expect several hours depending on your slowcooker. When reduced, remove from heat. Remove the kombu. Add the nutritional yeast, nori, and dulse. Stir to combine.

Let stand to cool uncovered about 30 minutes. Season to taste. Spoon out into an appropriate dish, cover loosely and chill 30 minutes. Pour off any condensed water, cover tightly and chill overnight to setup. When ready to serve, adjust the seasoning to taste depending on use and enjoy.