Carrots are root vegetables, well-known for helping with eyesight, but don’t underestimate their additional health benefits. In nature, the more colorful a fruit or vegetable, the more anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties it has. The next time you cook with carrots, choose the darker, more colorful options – like purple carrots, which are packed with healthy pigments. Purple carrots have high levels of Vitamin C and antioxidants, which protect against colon cancer, relieve rheumatoid arthritis and even help prevent varicose veins. White carrots, on the other hand, have few pigments and therefore fewer health properties.

Wondering what to do with those fresh carrots you just picked up at the market? Try this recipe. Make this creamy vegan soup for an easy mid-week dinner.

Red Lentil Carrot Soup by Chef Forrest Masters of Sprout Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup red lentils, washed
  • 4 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, grated
  • 1 cup red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 cups chopped spinach, or other leafy greens
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Directions

In a large pot, sauté onions, garlic, celery, and ginger in coconut oil for about 5 minutes. Add curry paste and salt. Sauté for 2 minutes, until the curry starts to become fragrant. Add lentils and water/vegetable stock, then simmer for 30 minutes, or until lentils are soft. Remove soup from the pot and blend with 1 cup shredded carrot and red pepper.

Return blended mix to the pot. Add coconut milk, spinach or other greens and remaining 1/2 cup shredded carrots. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.

Garnish with cilantro, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.