Introduction: Coconut Curry Lentil Soup
Coconut curry lentil soup is perfect as the weather starts to get chilly or if you just need something to warm your soul. It is thick and spicy but the coconut milk also makes it creamy, nutty and slightly sweet. This vegan recipe makes a satisfying meal with brown rice, naan or other bread - even for a non-vegetarian like me.
Step 1: Ingredients
The variety of curry powders is overwhelming! My current favorite for soup is D&D Gold's Madras Curry Powder, recommended in the excellent Vietnamese cookbook "Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table" by Mai Pham. It is fragrant, has a beautiful golden color and melds well with the sweetness of the onions, carrots and coconut milk. Today, I used fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chilies because that's what I had on hand. It added a little kick and depth to the flavor, a nice addition.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon ginger
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons curry powder
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can (14 ounce) coconut milk
1 14 can (14 ounce) diced tomatoes
1-1/2 cups red lentils
sea salt to taste
cilantro (optional garnish)
Step 2: Chop Chop!
Dice the onions and carrots into 1/4" pieces so that they blend in with the lentils when cooked. Mince the garlic and ginger.
Step 3: Saute the Onions
Sauté the onions until translucent to develop their sweetness. About 5 minutes.
Step 4: Toss in the Carrots
Add the carrots and sauté for 2 minutes.
Step 5: Next in - Garlic, Ginger, Curry Powder and Tomato Paste
Add in the minced garlic and ginger, curry powder and tomato paste. Sauté another 2-3 minutes to develop the flavor of the spices.
Step 6: Add Remaining Ingredients
Pour in the vegetable broth, coconut milk, diced tomatoes and lentils. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are very tender, about 25-30 minutes. The soup will be quite substantial - similar to an Indian Dal. If you want it soupier, add water until you reach the desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.
Step 7: Garnish
Ladle into bowl and if desired, garnish with cilantro. Other garnishes that would be work well are chopped scallions or mint or a dollop of plain yogurt.
Step 8: Enjoy!
Sit down to savor the soup you made. Pause for a moment. Observe the rich, golden colors and texture. Lean over the bowl and inhale. Feel the steam on your face as you catch the fragrance of the curry and the richness of the coconut. Feel the weight of the spoon in your hand as you lift it. Dip into your warming creation and enjoy!