Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Coconut Red Lentil Soup

Lentils
This soup, from 101 Cookbooks, is delightful. It tastes a little like spring, but provides warm comfort if you happen to be sitting through another spring rainstorm or perhaps, as we had last week, a freak snow storm with the biggest flakes you've ever seen.

The coconut flavor is really mild so if you don't usually like coconut, you should still try it. The curry flavor is luscious and the raisins plump up to add just a little bit of sweetness when you want it. (If you hate raisins, you could try apricots or prunes, chopped.) And, finally, the green onions provide a springy current throughout this thick, hearty soup. This recipe is also really healthy, full of fiber, vegetarian, and gorgeous. As you can see, I served it with forbidden rice which just so happens to be a beautiful dark purple color because I liked how it looked, of course.


What you need:
1 cup  yellow split peas
1 cup red split lentils (masoor dal)
7 cups water
1 medium carrot, diced
2 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger
2 tablespoons curry powder (I used the Madras curry powder from Savory Spice Shop)
2 tablespoons butter or ghee
8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
1/3 cup golden raisins (I used the dark kind and it didn't seem to matter)
1/3  cup tomato paste (this is about half of a tiny can)
1 14-ounce can coconut milk (light is fine)
2 teaspoons sea salt
one small handful cilantro, chopped
cooked brown or forbidden rice, for serving (optional)
What to do: 
  1. Rinse the split peas and lentils until they no longer make the water murky. Place in in a large soup pot, cover with the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer, then add the carrot and 1/4 of the ginger. Gover and simmer about 30 minutes. 
  2. As the peas cook, toast the curry powder in a small dry skillet over low heat. Watch it to make sure you don't burn it. When you're done, find a skillet and put it over medium heat. Add half of the green onions, the rest of the ginger and the raisins. Stir constantly for about 2 minutes, then add the tomato paste and saute for another 2 minutes. 
  3. Add the curry powder to the tomato mixture and mix, then add all of that to the peas and lentils along with the coconut milk and salt. 
  4. Simmer for about 20 minutes, uncovered. The soup should thicken, but you can cook it longer to make it thicker. 
  5. Serve  the soup over or alongside a scoop of rice. Top with cilantro and the rest of the green onions and enjoy!
Coconut Curry Red Lentils

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