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Carrot Lentil Soup

Posted May 15 2009 12:32am
The carrot is one of those vegetables that often has diabetics worrying whether it is good for them or not. However, the GI of carrots is around 47, considered low, and the glycemic load of a serving of 100 grams I found is around 3 (as per Nutrition Data ) which is very low really. Truly I believe, though we are still taking baby steps in learning how different carbohydrates affect us, that this is a case where benefits wholly outweigh the risks. I use this vegetable regularly in our food, raw as well as cooked.

Carrots have a lot of nutrition packed within them, the first and foremost element being carotene which is the precursor to vitamin A, necessary for normal vision; carotene gives the vegetable its rich orange color. They are also rich in the other vitamins (C, E, K and folic acid). Their major component is water. Mineral content includes potassium, magnesium and phytochemicals (antioxidants). They grow in the cooler climates as most people who have traveled to mountain resorts such as Ooty would know.

I've read an interesting thing about carrots recently, a "myth' that is also making its rounds on the internet. Paul Beaumont, an eye specialist, during the release of his new cookbook, has stated that eating carrots regularly is not all that helpful in boosting night vision as it has been made out to be. This myth had been created during the Second World War by the Allies. They had been undertaking night flying expeditions with the help of radar, a a new technology at the time, which the Germans were not privy too. To stem any leakage of technology to the enemy, the English apparently came up with this bizarre explanation of having great night vision through eating large amounts of carrots, thus enabling their pilots to see at night. The doctor claims that eating too much beta-carotene rich foods could actually damage the eyes.

True or not, a modest amount of this vegetable would probably be harmless. I combine this vegetable with lentils and other veggies for added benefit. Since pureed vegetables have more easily available carbohydrates, thus increasing their GI a little bit, I've combined carrots with lentils just to boost up its nutrition with some protein.

For this recipe I used about four medium-sized carrots. If you are sure of the source of the carrots, especially if they are from your own garden, there is no need to peel them as most of the nutrition is said to be concentrated just beneath the skin. I am not so lucky here so I shave off the outer skin most of the time with my knife. I chopped them up in large chunks.

I chopped one onion. I washed about half a cup of moong dal or yellow lentil. For a normal diet, even quarter cup would be sufficient.

In my pressure cooker, I heated a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. I sauted the onions till translucent and added the carrots and lentils. To this I added about two cups of water and pressure cooked it on medium flame till the steam blew the whistle, which took about five minutes.

I let this cool down and pureed it in my blender. I transferred the puree to a pot and added requisite salt and pepper powder. I heated this up before the meal and garnished it with coriander leaves. We had this for supper with a side of garlic bread.

Among all the colorful food that have appeared from my kitchen, I absolutely love this particular creamy dreamy orange color. I can vouch that the very sight of this soup will cheer you up, before you have even taken a sip of it. So this will be my entry to the FIC Favorite event hosted by Sweatha of Tasty Curry Leaf. Food In Color is an event started by Sunshinemom at Tongueticklers.

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