I wanted to make tomato and carrot soup for Devansh this time. We all know that these two “vegetables” provide us several health benefits. Well actually tomato is a fruit…but yeah, you know what i mean. :-p Tomatoes are a rich source of potassium, plus anti-oxidants in tomatoes contain good amounts of vitamins A and C. Carrots are loaded with vitamin A, and help improve vision and prevent cancer, heart disease, and strokes. When I looked up soup recipes containing these two healthy “veggies”, I came across some which had used red lentils as well. The idea really appealed to me. Lentils play an important role in providing the much needed protein in a vegetarian diet. So tomato, carrot, and red lentils soup it was to be.
To make the meal more filling for Devansh, I served him some garlic bread along with the soup. Now Devansh is not a big bread fan, which is a good thing really. He’s only interested in bread when we’re having a paav bhaji or a misaal paav. Once he’s had one or two morsels he loses his interest. He liked the garlic bread though. Initially I gave him sales talk saying, “WOW!! Look… heart and flower shaped bread” and all that…you know how it is with toddlers. Once he ate the garlic bread though, he liked the taste…mission accomplished. 🙂
Kalpesh and I too liked the soup; adding lentils made it quite filling. Soup recipe given below serves two grownups and one toddler. It can be modified slightly to make the soup for babies. To know the modifications needed, please refer to the note at the end of the steps.
Recipe for a healthy soup made using tomatoes, carrots and red lentils—for babies, toddlers, kids.
- 1 onion
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 4-5 cloves
- Half tsp black pepper powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 1-2 tsp grated ginger
- 4 small-sized carrots
- 4 large tomatoes
- 3/4th cup red lentils/masoor daal
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- Chop onions and garlic, and then grind them in a mixer to make a paste.
- Chop carrots and grind them in a mixer by adding very little water to make a paste. (If you are making this soup for grownups, you can chop onion, garlic, and carrots finely instead of making a paste.)
- Blanch tomatoes, peel them, cut them in half, and then puree them using a mixer.
- Heat a pan, add oil, and then add the onion-garlic paste.
- Sauté for about 5 minutes till the onion gets properly cooked. The onion (paste) shouldn't turn golden brown though.
- Add carrot paste and cook for another 5 minutes while stirring intermittently.
- Add tomato puree and mix well.
- Add grated ginger, bay leaf, cloves, and pepper powder.
- Add red lentils and mix well.
- Add as much water as needed for the desired consistency. I wanted to make a very thick soup, so I added only about one and a half cup of water.
- Cover and cook till the lentils get properly cooked. This should take around 10-15 minutes.
- Take the lid off and add salt. (Note: It is recommended to avoid adding salt in babies' food till they turn one. However, in my case I found that Devansh just wouldn't eat his food without salt. Hence, I started adding little bit of salt in his food. You can decide whether you want to add salt or not after talking to your child's pediatrician.)
- Cook for a couple of minutes and then turn off heat.
- Remove the bay leaf and cloves from the soup.
- Serve hot with garlic bread. (Use whole wheat or multigrain bread.)
- Use organic tomatoes, carrots, and lentils. (Organic veggies are not easily available; so if you can't find organic tomatoes and carrots, add one tbsp vinegar in water and soak them in that water for 10 minutes. Then wash them properly. This will help remove water-soluble pesticides.)
- As mentioned above, the recipe serves two adults and a toddler. If you are making the soup only for your baby, scale down the quantity of ingredients.
- Use only 1 clove of garlic.
- Depending on your baby's age, omit or use less of clove, ginger, and pepper powder. (Use juice of ginger instead of grated ginger.)
- Cook red lentils separately and mash them properly. Cook the rest of the soup as per the steplist above and then add the cooked lentils when the soup is almost done.
- Serve the soup without the bread.