While I do love creamy carrot ginger soup, I rarely take the time to make it because I’m still hungry after I eat it. An all-carrot base is too light for me. This soup is my answer to the hunger challenge. The quick-cooking split mung beans add creamy texture as well as protein, and they are nourishing for all body types and all seasons.
Nourishing Carrot and Dal Soup
1 cup split mung beans, soaked in water overnight
1 Tbsp ghee
1 cup chopped carrot
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 cups water
½ cup almond, hemp, or cow’s milk
½ tsp salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish (optional)
Fresh cilantro or parsley, for garnish (optional)
Drain and rinse the soaked mung beans.
Warm the ghee in a large saucepan. Sauté the carrots, peppercorns, and spice mix in the ghee until you can smell the spices, stirring to coat all pieces with ghee. Add the beans, and sauté for 1–2 minutes, stirring until coated. Add the water and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes. Add the milk and salt and simmer 5 minutes more. Remove from heat.
Using a hand blender, puree the soup until smooth. You can also do this in a blender carafe, but the mixture must cool a bit first. The milk should help it cool.
Pour into bowls and garnish with freshly cracked pepper and fresh cilantro or parsley, if desired.
Note: Ginger-carrot lovers can simply add 1 Tbsp grated ginger to the cook pot.
Skim the Foam
Rinsing beans and grains well before cooking them will remove most residual impurities left after harvesting. However, some impurities will remain. In Hindu legend, a poison called halahala was created when demons and devas churned the ocean to obtain the nectar of immortality, Amrita. In the early cooking process, a foam gathers on top of the water when dal boils. It’s a good idea to skim it off with a large mixing spoon and wash it down the sink. I like to think of my food as Amrita while I skim the foam to purify my dal.