Carrot Soup (with Lentils and Ginger)
We offer these recipes as a help in adding to our prayer and experience of solidarity with the poor during Lent. 
Of course, they can be used at any time during the year.

Carrot SoupCarrot Soup is a basic and wonderful, fresh treat. It is rich in all kinds of good things and easy to make. Add fresh ginger and it really comes alive. Add lentils and we have a fully nutritious Lenten meal.

It is easy to pray with people in many parts of the world while preparing and serving carrot soup, especially when we add ginger and lentils. We can imagine many homes in Middle East or India, in China and the Baltic countries, where people grow carrots and ginger and celebrate the early summer harvest with this soup. Lentils are rich in protein and fiber and, along with beans, are a mainstay for protein in much of the world.

Lord, thank you for these gifts of the earth, grown for our nourishment this day. Help us to receive them and prepare them and enjoy them gratefully.

Help us also remember so many others around the world for whom this is a special meal this season. Many of your people have so much less than we do. Let us eat this simple Lenten meal in solidarity with them.

Thank you for this Lenten season. Let this meal help us open our hearts to receive the gifts you are offering us during Lent - to be freer from distractions and patterns which are not loving. Help us to grow to know your love and to share it more freely.

Bless us and this food we share together in your love.

The beauty of this soup is its simplicity. Easy preparation time and the ability to save this soup in containers in the freezer for future meals make this a great Lenten choice.

Ingredients: This recipe produces a small pot of soup. Double it for a larger pot.

12 medium sized carrots - sliced or shredded with a potato peeler.
1 small onion, diced
3 stalks of celery, chopped, then diced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp of crushed black pepper
a sprinkle of salt
2 quarts of water
3 T of olive oil

Optional:
A stalk of fresh ginger - grate about 2 tablespoons for the soup
1 cup of dried lentils
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

Preparation:

Sauté the onions, celery and garlic in the olive oil in a medium sized soup pot. Use medium heat, so as to not burn the garlic, and stir until the onions are transparent and the celery begins to soften. Add the carrots and sauté a bit more before adding the water, salt, pepper (and optional ginger). (Be careful with the ginger. It is strong. Add it to your taste. Go “gingerly.” You can always add more, later.)

(Then, optionally and at the same time, cook the lentils in a separate pot, about twice as much water as lentils. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered.)

Bring the carrot mixture to a boil. Reduce to just below a boil and stir periodically, and finally, reduce to a simmer. Cook for about an hour, until the carrots taste fully softened and cooked.

With a potato masher - or an electric hand blender (being careful not to liquefy) - mash and blend the carrots.
Add water if needed.
Taste for doneness.

(Optionally, add the cooked lentils, after the carrot soup is blended.)

Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired. A small spoon of sour cream or a few croutons add to the presentation.



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