Monday, January 7, 2019

Carrot, Sweet Potato and Lentil Potage

Carrot, Sweet Potato and Lentil Potage gets a sweet-savoury boost from deep caramelized onions and a smoky spice from paprika and chipotle peppers. 

Carrot, Sweet Potato and Lentil Potage


Happy New Year everyone! I hope your holidays were relaxing and filled with joy - I know mine were certainly joyful if not so much relaxing! Now that we are a week into the January blahs (followed by the February boos), we are definitely turning our focus onto light-on-the-hips but still high on comfort foods. In the traditional spirit of lentils and carrots symbolizing money and gold, as well as the not so traditional spirit of good health, I cooked up a thick, hearty, spicy and slightly sweet potage of root vegetables and lentils. The base ingredients are accented and elevated with pops of herbs (especially wintery rosemary), smoky paprika and chipotle as well as rich, caramelized onions. The smells of the dish perfume your home for ages, from when the onions hit the oil to when all the flavours are blending together happily in the pot. Frequent taste tests - for quality control of course - are greatly encouraged.

Lentil and split pea puree-based soups have always had a special place in my heart, as they remind me of the delicious soup I had in Montreal on my 18th birthday. The dinner theatre I went to is now long gone, replaced by condos (c'est la vie) but the memories live on. I dare say this is definitely more my speed than the generic lentil soup though... I need all the heat I can get in the blustery winter weather!

What's your favourite January comfort food?


Carrot, Sweet Potato and Lentil Potage
Serves 8
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large yellow onions, diced
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp rosemary
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp ground chipotle chile
1 tsp smoked salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp black pepper
1 lb carrots, shredded
1 large sweet potato, peeled and shredded finely
1 lb dried red lentils
8 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  1. In a large pot (I used a heavy Dutch oven) heat the olive oil until it shimmers. Add the onions and cook until deeply carmelized, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Sprinkle in the herbs, paprika, chipotle, salt, garlic and pepper, stirring well until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the carrots, sweet potato, half of the lentils and all the broth.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. 
  5. Add the remaining lentils and continue to simmer for another 40 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the solids from burning on the bottom.