This nourishing red lentil soup is a definite crowd-pleaser. It's one of those soups I make over and over again - healthy, simple, and filling.
Heat the oil in a medium-size pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
Add the cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper and salt and stir until fragrant, about . 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and let it "brown" in the pan for a few minutes together with the aromatics and spices.
Add the carrots, red lentils, vegetable broth, and water. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a low boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-high, and let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes. The time will depend on how quickly your lentils cook. You want the lentils to start breaking apart to create a smooth, velvet-like texture.
Remove the soup from the heat and add the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Serve the soup immediately with some freshly chopped parsley and an extra dash of cayenne pepper.
Store leftover soup covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
For longer term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. The easiest way to reheat frozen soup is to remove it from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator 24 hours before reheating to thaw slightly. Reheat on a stovetop, adding extra 1/4 cup (60 ml) water/broth at a time if too thick.