spicy carrot and lentil soup

(serves 70)

100ml oil
7.2kg carrots, washed and coarsely grated (no need to peel)
1kg onions
2.4kg red lentils
1 tbsp chilli flakes
3-4 tbsp cumin seeds
2-3 tbsp coriander
18 litres vegetable stock – 18 stock cubes
2 litres milk (optional)
Salt and pepper

  1. Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for 1 min, or until they start to jump around the pan and release their aromas. Scoop out about half of the seeds with a spoon and set aside.
  2. Add the oil, onions, carrot, lentils, and stock (and milk if using) to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 mins until the lentils have swollen and softened.
  3. Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth.
  4. Season to taste and finish with a sprinkling of the reserved toasted spices.

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