Put all the lentil stock ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes, until the lentils are cooked through. Pick out carrot, onion, garlic and thyme and discard. Strain lentils and reserve the stock. Set both aside.
Turn off the heat, cool slightly and puree (either in batches using a regular blender taking breaks to remove the lid and let steam escape, or using an immersion blender) until smooth. Stir in 2 Tbs agave nectar and the remaining 1 Tsp salt. Adjust seasoning to taste. Mix in cooked lentils roasted carrots and remaining cauliflower. Heat gently and enjoy!
In a large, heavy saucepan, heat oil then add onion, leek, celery and garlic Sauté until they are tender, about five minutes. Add peas, broth, water, bay leaf, parsley, seasoned salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes, or until peas are tender. Add the carrots, potatoes and ham (optional) to the soup. Cover and simmer about 15 to 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender but retain their shape. Add water, if necessary, to thin soup. Reduce heat. When ready to serve, remove bay leaf.
Sort, then rinse lentils. Add to broth and bring to a boil. Add diced carrots. Cover; cook for 30 minutes while stirring occasionally. When lentils are tender, add dry spices, bouillon cubes and diced tomatoes. Sauté onion and garlic in a frying pan using olive oil. When golden brown, add to soup mixture. Add chicken if desired. Simmer for five minutes. Turn off heat and add lemon juice to pot; stir. Garnish bowls of soup with parsley if desired.
This carrot soup is a burst of sunshine that brightens up cold dreary days. The natural sweetness of the carrots is balanced by warming spices and ginger, and fresh orange juice lends just the right amount of acidity. This soup comes together in a flash and is visually striking, especially when garnished with a dollop of yogurt and jewel-toned pomegranates. 781b155fdc