When September rolls around, I find that most people fall into one of two camps. There are those who hang onto the final days of summer with serious longing, who would bottle every last ray of warm sunshine if they could. And then there are people like me, who yearn for the first chilly breeze to cut the warm air, who eagerly usher in autumn with open, sweater-covered arms. Unfortunately for us back-to-school junkies, the seasonal transition is a bit more gradual than the turning of a calendar page.


Related: 30 Warm and Satisfying Slow Cooker Meals


While I don’t have the power to will the temperatures to drop, I can evoke the feeling of fall as early as I want with some strategic choices in the kitchen. Soup is one way at this, as nothing inspires visions of autumnal leaves like a pot of fragrant vegetables simmering on the stove. This recipe for carrot coconut curry from the recently released Soup Cleanse Cookbook by Nicole Centeno, founder of Splendid Spoon, an online plant-based food program, is a perfect recipe for September as it’s hearty, comforting, and can be enjoyed warm or chilled. Plus, the broth’s bright golden-orange color, which it draws from fresh carrots and Madras curry, might be the closest thing to sunshine you can bottle, for those of you who don’t want the warmth of summer to fade away.

Photo by Tara Donne

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Madras curry
  • 1/2 pound dried black lentils, rinsed and drained (pick out small stones)
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • pinch red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Peel of 1 orange, grated (optional)

Directions

  1. In a medium pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Cook the onion, celery, and carrots, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is tender. Stir in the garlic and curry and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant.

  2. Stir in the lentils, water, coconut milk, and salt and cook for 25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still al dente.

  3. Enjoy warm or chilled. Garnish with the cilantro, red-pepper flakes, and orange peel (if using).

Nutritional Information

Calories
506
Total Fat
29g
Saturated Fat
24g
Cholesterol
NA
Sodium
717mg
Carbohydrates
52g
Dietary Fiber
15g
Sugars
8g
Protein
17g
YIELD:

4 servings