Carrot and Lentil Soup with Thyme Scones

You’ve got to try this soup. It’s thick and creamy and just the right balance of sweet (from the roasted veggies), smoky (from the roasted veggies and the cumin), and spicy (from the chili flakes).

I’ve specified a teaspoon of chili flakes, but you can definitely add more. Paul and I like a couple of teaspoons but that ended up being too spicy for Louisa. Little tastebuds! However, there’s such a good depth of flavor to this soup that we don’t mind it being not quite so spicy.

Since I’m continuing on my mission to share recipes that the harried, harassed, and/or time-pinched can cook and enjoy, this soup can be made in advance (leaving out the crème fraîche/sour cream and the minced parsley) and frozen, as well, if desired. The thyme scones can’t be made in advance because they go stale very quickly (as in, eat them right after you’ve baked them), but they come together easily and are oh-so-worth-it in the taste department.

Carrot and Lentil Soup

1 1/2 lbs (700 g) carrots, cut into chunks
1 red onion, cut into wedges
1/3 cup (100 ml) olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili flakes
5 sprigs thyme
4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 quarts (1 1/2 L) chicken stock
1/2 lb (250 g) red lentils
Crème fraîche or sour cream, to serve
Minced parsley, to serve

Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C). Spread the carrots and onion out on a sheet pan, drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with cumin and chili flakes, and season well with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the thyme and garlic cloves (leave in their skins). Roast for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Put the stock and lentils into a stock pot and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Stir in the carrots and onions from the roasting tin and then also add the garlic, which you’ve removed from the skin, and the leaves from the thyme sprigs. Stir to combine and either blend with an immersion blender or cool before blending with a regular blender.

Serve topped with a dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream and a sprinkling of parsley.

Serves 6

Adapted from Melanie Johnson, “Spiced carrot-and-lentil soup with thyme scones” in Country Life 8 January 2014.


Thyme Scones

6 ounces (185 g) Irish-style wholemeal flour (or other whole-wheat flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons (50 g) softened butter
Leaves from 5 sprigs thyme
1/2 cup (150 ml) buttermilk
Beaten egg for egg wash

Preheat oven to 425ºF (220ºC). Grease a quarter sheet pan and set aside.

Stir together flour, salt, and baking powder. Rub in butter until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the thyme leaves then add the buttermilk and combine.

Lightly knead the dough and press into a circle that is one-inch thick. Place circle of dough on the prepared sheet pan and score the dough almost all the way through in an “x” shape with a sharp knife. Brush top with beaten egg.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until nicely browned with the bottom making a hollow sound when rapped with the knuckles. Cool slightly and divide into four wedges.

Serves 4

Adapted from Melanie Johnson, “Spiced carrot-and-lentil soup with thyme scones” in Country Life 8 January 2014.