Of all the vegetables carrots contain the biggest serving of the vitamin beta-carotene.
Beta-carotene is found in many fruits and vegetables with a yellow or red colouring such as mangoes, peaches, red peppers and tomatoes as well as green leafy vegetables and broccoli. It is converted by the body into retinol which is a form of Vitamin A.
One of retinol’s many uses in our bodies is helping the eyes to adjust to the dark. Ensuring we have a good intake of Vitamin A will mean that our eyes adjust quicker when entering a dark room.
Cooking carrots makes them softer, easier to digest and allows the beta-carotene to be more easily used by our bods. So there really is some science behind carrots helping you to see in the dark! Get nibbling, doc!
This is a chunky, warming, South Asian inspired soup that I made to use up a whole bag of carrots that I’d had for way too long! It’s a cross between carrot & coriander soup and a lentil dahl and is sweet and herby.
600ml vegetable stock (made with 1 x 10g stock cube)
150g dried yellow split peas (chana dal)
¼ tsp. turmeric
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. vegetable/olive oil (10g)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (5g)
1 inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped (6g)
1 large white onion, peeled and finely chopped (180g)
2 sticks celery, finely chopped (75g)
500g carrots, peeled and chopped into small ½ cm2 cubes
½ tsp. ground cumin
1 handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped (10g)
1 tsp. lemon juice
- Place the split peas in a medium-sized pan with the stock, turmeric and cinnamon. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil over a medium heat in another saucepan. Fry the garlic and ginger for 30-60 seconds.
- Add the onion and celery and fry for 5-10 minutes until the onions are soft and browned. Remove from the heat and set aside until the lentils are finished.
- Add the lentils and stock mixture to the onions and celery, also adding the water, carrots and cumin.
- Return to the heat, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the carrots and lentils are cooked.
- Blend half of the soup and mix the smooth back with the chunky.
- Add the chopped coriander and lemon and stir in.
Energy 550 kcal (2300 kJ)
Total sugars 53g
Per Serving (Serves 4)
Energy 140 kcal (590 kJ)
Total sugars 13.3g
½ x naan bread (80g), toasted = 225kcal / 942 kJ
1 x white or brown crusty bread roll (50g) = 130kcal / 545 kJ
As above but with pumpkin seeds on top (60g) = 190kcal / 800 kJ
1 x tbsp. of butter (10g) = 75kcal/ 315 kJ
Suggested Ear Candy
I went to an Eels gig in Leeds recently and loved it! I hadn’t actually listened to their latest musical delight yet so I did just that whilst cooking my soup.
My vegetable of choice today also reminded me of the most fantabulous song by one of my all-time fave bands, Pavement, so I had to go for Terror Twilight;
Hilarious link, I know, but it had to be done and is definitely the perfect description of this dahl!