Lentils are wildly simple to use, satisfying and filling, cheap and quick to cook. Now why is it that you haven’t tried them? Yeah, I’m not sure either. Give this recipe a try. It’s pretty tame as far as curry flavors go, so you can ease your friends/family into the whole lentil idea. :)
Spicy Red Lentil Soup
- 1 cup yellow split peas
- 1 cup red split lentils (masoor dal)
- 7 cups liters water or veggie broth
- 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger
- 2 tablespoons HOT curry powder (which if you purchase from Penzeys turns out to not be very hot, more spicy than hot)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (butter for non-vegans or ghee)
- 2 cups or 1 can rinsed chickpeas
- 8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 1/3 cup dried currants
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 1 14-ounce can low fat coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
- one small handful cilantro, chopped
- cooked brown rice or farro, for serving (optional)
Give the split peas and lentils a good rinse – until they no longer put off murky water. This takes quite a while but believe me it is totally worth it. The first time I made this, I rinsed just so-so and it was a no-go. Ick. Place them in an extra-large soup pot, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot and 1/4 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 so as not to burn the curry, this is a huge #fail. Set aside. Place the butter in a pan over medium heat, add half of the green onions, the remaining ginger, currants, and raisins. Saute for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and saute 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. Add the cooked chickpeas just at the end so they don’t turn to mush. 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, if you like. Or simmer longer for a thicker consistency. The thicker this soup got, the more I liked it. Sprinkle each bowl generously with cilantro and the remaining green onions.
As Heidi Swanson so frequently does, I served this concoction over leftover brown rice that I would have tossed the next day. It’s like upcycling for food.
Turns out this freezes beautifully for single-servings throughout the week. It thickens up a bit, but just thin it out with water if you don’t like the consistency upon reheat. I’ve found a container of this in the back of my freezer and enjoyed with delight up to four weeks later. :)
recipe adapted from 101cookbooks.com