This soup is proof that it’s possible to create something beautiful and wholesome, from the simplest ingredients that you can find anywhere – carrots, corn, cauliflower and dried lentils or pulses. Be secure in the knowledge that as long as you can make this soup anywhere, anytime, everything will be a-OK.
I form attachments to soups. Like serious attachments. I can feel the urge to hug a soup, if not for the fact that it’s not humanly possible to hug a liquid. When I think about a favourite soup, it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling at the base of my stomach which can escalate into a growl. I can miss a soup like I miss a loved one, and remember the times that I spent with it with great fondness. When I look at a picture of one of my favourite soups, I can feel the urge to bring it back into my life and my tongue starts to tingle with anticipation as I remember how it tasted, how it felt.
This soup swept in on gentle wings, like a dove. It humbly presented itself from amongst the most basic ingredients and became my saviour and steady companion, during my lonely but reflective days in India. Who knew that such a simple soup, made with just carrots, corn and cauliflower, could bring so much joy? No matter what the temperature of the day was like, or the temperature of my mood, I knew that as long I could make this soup for myself when I came home, everything was going to be OK.
Soup reverence has existed for centuries, and in many different cultures. The Chinese culture, for example, has a multitude of traditions (and peculiarities) for the preparation, consumption and even transportation of soup:
♥ Soup must be served piping hot to the table, otherwise you risk it being returned to the kitchen.
♥ When an important guest visits you at home, besides offering them tea it is also customary to offer them a bowl of steaming hot soup.
♥ In very traditional families, being invited to have soup at someone’s home is a sign that you have been accepted into their family.
♥ Cantonese families who are particular about their quality of soup will only drink the broth and throw away the rest of the ingredients, as they believe that all the nutrients and essences have already been extracted into the soup.
♥ Soup should always be served and stored in earthenware or crock pots for better flavour (as I said there were a few peculiarities).
In short, soup is very important to the Chinese.
It’s the same in other cultures too. The French chef, Louis P. De Gouy, said:
“Soup is cuisine’s kindest course. It breathes reassurance; it steams consolation; after a weary day it promotes sociability, as the five o’clock cup of tea or the cocktail hour.”
– Louis P. De Gouy, ‘The Soup Book’ (1949)
So maybe my soup fascination and emotional attachments to soup, stems from my ancestry. Because I do get emotional about soups, dammit.
Mustard seeds and ginger add warmth, pungency and citrusy earthiness to this dish – exactly what I need when my stomach needs somewhere welcoming to come home to. In fact, Ayurveda prescribes ginger if your vata dosha is out of balance. Mustard seeds are especially rich in selenium, which boosts immunity and reduces inflammation. No wonder I feel so soothed after I have this soup!
Have fun trying out this soup, and feel free to play around and add in your favourite ingredients too. Soups are essentially your favourite ingredients boiled together until all the flavour and nutrients have been extracted by the liquid. So there is no reason for you to not find a soup that you like! Enjoy! Xoxo.
Nourishing Triple-C (Carrot, Corn & Cauliflower) Lentil Soup
This soup is proof that it’s possible to create something beautiful and wholesome, from the simplest ingredients that you can find anywhere – carrots, corn and cauliflower. Be secure in the knowledge that as long as you can make this soup anywhere, anytime, everything will be a-OK.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Salads & Soups
- Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian
- 250 grams carrots, peeled and diced into 1 cm cubes
- 200 grams celery, washed and diced into 1 cm cubes
- 400 grams fresh corn niblets, from 2 whole ears of corn (see Note)
- 200 grams cauliflower, washed and cut into 3cm-sized florets
- 1½ teaspoons mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 inches (25 grams) fresh young ginger, peeled and sliced diagonally
- 3 tablespoons of light olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
- 7 cups of water
- ¾ cup of dried mixed lentils, rinsed
- Place a large pot or Dutch oven on the stove and heat up 3 tablespoons of olive oil (high heat) for 2 minutes. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and fry for 1 minute. Add the cumin and mustard seeds, and fry for another minute.
- Add the diced carrots and celery, and cook for 5 minutes on medium-high heat until the vegetables are soft and lightly browned. Stir often to keep the vegetables from burning.
- When the vegetables are softened and lightly brown, add 7 cups of water, the corn niblets, lentils and salt and bring to the boil (takes about 5-7 minutes). Then add the cauliflower, cover the pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
To remove the corn niblets from the whole corn ears: Break the whole corn ear in half and place halved corn ear standing up on the chopping board. Use a large knife and cut downwards along the length of the ear, shaving off the corn niblets. Repeat with the rest of the corn.