Easy Carrot Lentil Soup

The recipe was adapted from the Easy Lentil Soup in Supermarket Vegan by Donna Klein (p. 35). This version is still easy, just a couple additional ingredients (I had a sweet potato that was on its last legs). Also, I used proportionally more carrot because it turns out that one large carrot is several times more than the required 1/4 cup.

Easy Carrot Lentil Soup

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium sweet potato, chopped
1 large carrot (approx. 1 cup)
4 cups water or veggie broth
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
Freshly ground pepper
1 large bay leaf

Heat the oil. Sautee onions and garlic for 3 minutes. Add carrots and sweet potato, sautee for ~5 minutes. Add water, lentils, thyme, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, until the lentils are tender. The sweet potato should dissolve and thicken the broth.


I’m only sharing my unsavory onion experience of this evening so that others can be more prepared than I was if they encounter this situation. Just thinking about it makes me nauseous, so if you want to stop reading now, please do. I chose one of my lovely yellow organic onions and noted that it wasn’t quite as firm as normal but otherwise looked fine. Then I chopped into it and discovered the most putrid slimy stinky mess enclosed in a 1/2-inch thick shell of onion. Needless to say, I chose a different one for the recipe. I’m afraid that I’ll never be able to trust an onion again.


14 comments on “Easy Carrot Lentil Soup

  1. Ooh, I had to join in this conversation because it’s so interesting. I know some Buddhist sects prohibit onions and garlic from their diet because they supposedly excite the senses, which is what you don’t want to do in Buddhism. The senses lead to illusions, and illusions lead to ignorance, and ignorance to hell. Something something like that. 9_9

    I’ve never run into a rotting-from-the-inside onion, but because my parents hoard rotting food, I always test stuff by squeezing or sniffing it. (I have a wine-sniffer nose. I think I was a dog or cat in a previous life: I like sniffing things before I eat or drink them.) But if you want the flavor of onions without the smell or the tears, you can use those dried onion flakes, usually sold in the spice section of the grocery store. I had a recipe for egg salad which called for a quarter cup of raw onion, which was too much for my kids. So I switched to a tablespoon of onion flakes. Much better!

      • Cinnamon isn’t used in traditional Chinese or Japanese cuisine, so I don’t think it’s an issue. But there’s an interesting website which gives a full explanation of why onions and garlic are prohibited in some Buddhist diets.


        Mind you, not all Buddhists see it that way. My parents are devout Buddhists, but they get upset if there’s no meat with their dinner. They have no problem with putting onions of every sort in their cooking, however. They do think I put too much garlic in mine. 😀

    • That’s my understanding too, HG. They are considered “hot” and heat arouses desire/illusion/ignorance/etc. Ginger is also hot but in China it is acceptable for Buddhist monks. It’s mostly alliums they avoid.

      That’s a good tip for onion flakes. I’ll have to try it. My roommate from Minneapolis claimed she could eat onions like apples, but I never saw her do it. At the farmer’s market, I discovered some particularly sweet onions (Walla Walla?) that I could imagine someone eating raw, but otherwise not so much.

      • Meh, I’ve heard that claim about onions so sweet you could eat them like apples, but they all have that afterburn to them. I get heartburn just thinking about it. Onion flakes are nice because the drying process takes the acrid part out of the onion but keeps the taste, at least enough to impart dressings and sauces with a little onion flavor.

        It’s funny about the ginger. I love ginger and will put lots in my Indian and Chinese dishes. It does add spice, but it doesn’t give me heartburn like onions or garlic. I wonder if that’s related to the Chinese Buddhist ban of alliums.


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