There’s nothing more comforting than a steaming bowl of soup—am I right? This recipe is a special one because it is Indian inspired and uses a special ingredient: yellow split peas (also known as pigeon peas or toor dal). This flavorful soup is also loaded with health-promoting ingredients like carrots, ginger, turmeric, and garlic. Whether it’s flu season, or just one of those times when you’ve been running yourself too thin, this heavenly soup will hit all the right spots.
With a thick and creamy texture, I find it to be the absolute perfect ending after a busy, stressful day. Serve it with toasted bread smeared with some vegan butter and treat yourself to a moment to unwind and enjoy, slow down and disconnect. Pretty perfect, don’t you think?
Spicy Carrot Soup with Turmeric
Dals the way we eat them in India would really be considered soups in the West. This spicy carrot soup is ready in a jiffy and is made with my all-time favorite dal. Split pigeon peas are great for quick meals because they don’t need soaking or any other pre-prep. Soup made with this dal is creamy and tangy and is a fast, yummy meal.
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1" piece ginger, grated
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 3 carrots diced
- ½ teaspoons of turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon of coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
- 4 cups of veggie broth
- 1½ cups of yellow split pigeon peas (toor dal or replace with red lentils)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Juice of ½ lemon
Heat the oil in a deep pan over high heat. Once hot, add the onion, ginger, and garlic. Cook until the onion is transparent and the raw smell of the ginger and garlic is gone, 2 to 3 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium and add the carrots, turmeric, coriander, and cumin and stir well to mix.
Cook for a few minutes and then add the broth and the peas. Bring to a boil on high heat and then cover with a lid and let simmer on low heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until the peas are thoroughly cooked.
- Use an immersion blender to puree everything until completely smooth.
Season with salt and pepper and mix in the lemon juice. Serve.
Spicy Carrot Soup Dream
This Indian spicy soup is so dreamy! If you have a favorite soup, you might need to start getting ready to replace it. This recipe is so simple and quick but so yummy and delicious at the same time. Carrots being the main ingredient, this soup is sweet and silky smooth, but you can add any other veggies that might complement its unique flavor.
Sweet potato could be a great addition! Still sweet but with a softer texture. Maybe some celery to give it a fresh touch? Just make sure whatever you’re adding doesn’t mess with the creamy texture too much. If you’re planning to add white potatoes, be mindful that it might become too much like potato mash. Just a couple of small ones would do. Keep it a carrot soup more than a potato one!
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find the pigeon split peas, you can easily use red lentils instead!
Spicy Carrot Soup With a Magical Ingredient: Turmeric!
This spicy carrot soup recipe is special for many reasons, but one of them is one mysterious ingredient which gives it that wonderful bright ochre color. Turmeric is a spice that has been around for ages, but we have recently rediscovered on our quest to become our healthiest selves. This is mainly because of its amazing anti-inflammatory properties (and even anti-cancer properties); I’m sure you know it’s been all the rage lately.
Turmeric (or Curcuma) is a plant related to ginger, and it has been used in Indian cuisine and medicine for thousands of years. It’s also a favorite of ayurvedic medicine, and it’s been known to be used in India to dye fabrics thanks to its super intense color. This is an excellent example of sustainability! Using the same elements for cooking, as a healing supplement and for naturally dyeing your clothing. Pretty cool, right?
Apart from its fantastic color, this spice has some true superpowers! It’s an amazing antioxidant and can have the same effects (or better!) as over the counter anti-inflammatory medications. Dr. Michael Greger, author of the New York Times bestselling book How Not to Die and founder of NutritionFacts.org, recommends incorporating turmeric into your diet every day.
Never Too Many Toppings!
I think I’ve mentioned my favorite soup toppings countless of times, but when it comes to toppings, the sky is the limit. Get creative and choose what works for you! This spicy carrot soup recipe calls for pumpkin seeds and fresh herbs, but you can add anything you have.
If you don’t feel like adding the potatoes into the soup itself then why not doing some small squared roasted potatoes to put on top?
- 2 large red potatoes
- sea salt
- black pepper
- olive oil
- nutritional yeast (optional)
Cut the red potatoes in small squares, then put them in a bowl and spice them up with lots of black pepper, sweet paprika, some cumin and sea salt. Add a tablespoon of nutritional yeast if you like a more cheesy flavor. And if you want them extra crunchy drizzle some olive oil on top!
Mix it all up and transfer them onto an oven tray. Make sure it’s only one layer, so they cook evenly. Roast them for 15 to 20 minutes at 375 degrees. And you’re good to go! Add them to your soup!
These would also be amazing on a salad. My favorite way to make it is to cut some Romain lettuce really thin and add the potatoes on top. Make a dressing with 1 tablespoon of tahini, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (or lemon!), a drizzle of soy sauce and a drizzle of maple syrup. I know it might sound like a weird combo but, trust me, it’s so good! Add a little bit of water to thin it out if it’s too thick. Simple, quick and delicious!
For The Love of Indian Food!
Indian food captivates many of us in a very special way. Its colors, aromas, deep flavors, and simplicity gives it that amazing touch and takes us somewhere unique and beautiful every time we savor it. India has so many different regions, and each one has its own amazing cuisine, although they all have something in common.
Indian food is also incredibly vegan-friendly. Many fantastic Indian dishes are legume-based, and most of them use coconut milk instead of dairy. Full of vegetables and spices! It’s a vegans dream. A huge array of dahls and curries, naans (watch out for butter) and pakoras. What’s not to love? Right?
Next time you’re struggling to find a vegan restaurant or vegan take-out, try finding your nearest Indian place. I can assure you they will have a vegan-friendly option!
About the Cookbook
Heavenly Vegan Dals & Curries is a stunning book! Imagine having lots of beautifully photographed plant-based Indian recipes created by a passionate vegetarian Indian girl. Heaven! Currys and Dals are so easy to make and such a great way to incorporate veggies and legumes, so this book is kind-of priceless.
Rahkee Yadav is a cook, born and raised in India, who decided to put all her childhood cooking experience to good use. She manages to simplify all her favorite Indian dishes and make them entirely vegan and uber healthy. With beautiful photos and carefully crafted recipes, this book is one to hold on to. You will cherish it forever!
Why not give it to someone as a gift? Giving vegan cookbooks to your loved ones is a great way to spread the word and practice some indirect activism. Once people realize vegan food can be delicious and uncomplicated, they will open up to the possibility of making it a lifestyle.
Hungry for More Soup?
Don’t forget to add these vegan soups to your collection!
This vegan Indian toor dal soup recipe is reprinted with permission from Heavenly Vegan Dals & Curries by Rakhee Yadav, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Rakhee Yadav. Please note that this article may contain affiliate links that help support our work at World of Vegan.