Recipe: Nadia Lim’s Carrot, Tamarind & Coconut Soup

Carrots give sweetness, red lentils add body, coconut enriches, and tamarind gives a palate-lifting sour note to this warming soup.

Recipe: Extract from Nadia: A Seasonal Journal  Photos: Rachael McKenna

This is an excellent back-pocket recipe for when you’re low on fresh vegetables. Tamarind paste is found in most supermarkets — it comes in a solid, plastic-wrapped block. Cut off a piece, then wrap it well and return to the fridge. If you can’t find any, add the juice and finely grated zest of 2 limes or 1 lemon to the soup after puréeing.

Makes: 2-3 serves (about 1.2l)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼-½ teaspoon ground chilli
500g carrots (4-5 medium carrots), peeled and sliced
¾ cup dried split red lentils
3 cups vegetable stock (or water)
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 x 400ml can organic coconut milk


Set a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, followed by the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5-10 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the onion is soft but not brown.

Add the spices and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the carrots. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the lentils, stock and tamarind paste. Cover and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes, until the carrots are tender. Pour in the coconut milk and stir well.

Purée with a stick blender or in a food processor and return to the pot. Taste for seasoning — it’s unlikely to need salt if you’ve used commercially made vegetable stock — and reheat until nearly simmering. Pour into bowls and serve.

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This is an extract from the autumn edition of Nadia: A Seasonal Journal. This quarterly publication offers on how to grow vegetables and fruit and how to cook for family and friends with homegrown and locally sourced produce.

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