Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Coconut Red Lentil Soup

This awesome soup from 101 Cookbooks was a hit in our household, and I’m sure to make it again. The seasoning was fantastic, though it should be said that I used chicken broth instead of water. I also used more peas than the original recipe called for (1 ½ cups each instead of 1 cup), and only 6 cups of broth – plus the coconut milk. The consistency seemed soupy to me, but the author says that you can make it thicker and spoon it over rice or farro. Note that it is a thick soup, and the addition of green onions and raisins actually works really well. You can easily make this vegetarian or vegan by using a fake chicken broth or vegetable broth if you don’t want water, and oil instead of butter. I served the soup with 30-minute rolls, which I also strongly recommend.

1 cup yellow split peas
1 cup red lentils
6 cups broth (or water), plus more to taste
1 medium carrot, cut into ½-inch dice
2 Tbsp fresh peeled and minced ginger
2 Tbsp curry powder
2 Tbsp butter, margarine or vegetable oil
8 green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 14-oz can coconut milk
2 tsp fine grain sea salt
one small handful cilantro, chopped

Give the split peas and lentils a good rinse - until they no longer put off murky water. Place them in an extra-large soup pot, cover with the broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot and ¼ of the ginger. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.

In the meantime, in a small dry skillet or saucepan over low heat, toast the curry powder until it is quite fragrant. Be careful though, you don't want to burn the curry powder, just toast it. Set aside.

Place the butter in a pan over medium heat, add half of the green onions, the remaining ginger, and raisins. Sauté for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and sauté for another minute or two more.

Add the toasted curry powder to the tomato paste mixture, mix well, and then add this to the simmering soup along with the coconut milk and salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so. The texture should thicken up, but you can play around with the consistency if you like by adding more water, a bit at a time. Or simmer longer for a thicker consistency.

To serve, sprinkle each bowl generously with cilantro and the remaining green onions. (I topped mine with some lactose-free sour cream, and it was perfect.)

No comments: