Carrot, Red Lentil, and Spinach Soup

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Carrot, Red Lentil, & Spinach Soup

Makes about 2 litres of soup
Ingridients:
1 teaspoon coconut or olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
5-6 medium carrots, about 3 cups chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cm piece fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon sea salt*
400g jar diced tomatoes
6 cups / 1.5 litres vegetable stock
1 cup red lentils, soaked*
1 cup / 150 grams frozen spinach*
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Instructions:
Cooked brown rice, to serve
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium. Add the onion and sauté for a couple of minutes or until soft and fragrant. Stir in the carrots, and cook for another minute or two. Add the garlic, ginger, and spices, stirring to coat the vegetables, to wake up the spices. Now add the salt and tomatoes, stir, and pour the vegetable stock in.
Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a rolling boil. Add the lentils and reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Stir in the spinach and turn off the heat, letting the hot soup thaw the spinach*. Add the lemon juice, taste, and season if necessary.
Serve over brown rice and store leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer.
Notes:
1. This is a starting point for salt – you will likely need to add more at the end, but you don’t want to over season while cooking in case the stock you’re using is quite salty.
2. Try to soak the lentils for 24 hours if you can. I like to soak red lentils as part of my batch cooking on the weekend and then freeze jars of them for this soup or red lentil patties. If you can’t soak them or you forgot, just give them a rinse before adding them to the soup.
3. If you want to use fresh spinach, go for about 100g and remove any larger stems.
4. Using the heat from the soup to thaw the spinach has two purposes – it brings the soup down to an edible temperature, and it keeps the nutrients of the spinach largely intact. And the colour stays nice and green!