Meatless Monday - Red Lentil and Coconut Soup

Red Lentils In this continued quest for healthy, I love when folks share recipes that they think I might like.  We were discussing my favorite Lentil the other day and someone offered a version of the soup noted below.  ...

Red Lentils
Red Lentils

In this continued quest for healthy, I love when folks share recipes that they think I might like.  We were discussing my favorite Lentil the other day and someone offered a version of the soup noted below.   In my usual style, I have changed this up a bit to bump up some of the flavors and create a more memorable dish.  This past weekend, I was unaccompanied with a stocked kitchen, so I played with my beloved Lentils once again.  The seasonings on this soup are excellent.  I noted my changes and suggestions below for this recipe.  The Coconut Milk is a strong finish for this soup.

Some notes about working with Lentils.  I do not always have the color a recipe calls for, but I do not let that stand in my way.  The standard green lentil works every time.   Always rinse these well and if needed sort out any debris.  Anymore, they are very clean and just need a good rinse.    I have come to prefer cooking my lentils in my homemade vegetable stock, with just enough to cover these gems in the pan.  I prepare these in a Dutch oven on my stovetop.  After the lentils come to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes until they are tender.  Do not overcook as they tend to break-down and become mushy.  I then add these to my soups.  This pre-cooking helps to not break-down the lentils.

Red Lentil and Coconut Soup
Red Lentil and Coconut Soup

Red Lentil and Coconut Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups or one pound of red lentils, rinsed until water runs clear
  • 2 – 3 medium yellow white onion, diced
  • 6 – 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • About 1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 chili pepper, finely chopped – or jalapeno (or you can use ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger – mined ( or use about 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger )
  • 14.5 ounce can tomatoes.  I will suggest Hunt’s Fire Roasted Tomatoes for another bump of flavor
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons coriander
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 14 ounce can coconut milk – (Regular or Light milk can work here.  The Regular will really bump up the finish of the Coconut Milk)
  • 4 – 6 cups vegetable stock ( I like a tighter soup, so I would start with the minimum amount of stock.  This also allows the Coconut Milk to shine in this soup)

Directions:

  1. Sauté onion, garlic, ginger, chili, and carrots in olive oil, fry for around 10 minutes until soft.
  2. Add cumin, coriander, paprika, and bloom these spices with the vegetables for about 3 – 5 minutes.
  3. By the original recipe. Add stock and lentils to the pot, and bring to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes
  4. I would suggest preparing the lentils first in homemade stock and then adding them to this recipe at this point.
  5. Add coconut milk, tomato paste and tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes if the lentils are not pre-cooked.
  6. In my case of precooking the lentils the milk, tomato paste and tomatoes are then added and cooked for about 5 – 8 minutes until the paste as started to thicken. Taste for spices and adjust as needed.
  7. Cool off the stove and then package this in containers.
  8. Best if served the next day or after frozen.
  9. This soup also freezes well.
  10. Re-warm and enjoy. Re-check for seasonings.

This was an unexpected treat and I do enjoy using Coconut Milk for the rich finish.  This weekend also had the Lentils starring alongside the Roasted Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions and Garlic.  Two very different soups were created with the common theme of the beloved Lentil.  Here is the recipe from a former post for the Roasted Tomato Soup.  The addition of the Lentils was brilliant over the usual Harvest Grains from Trader Joe’s.

The final soup for my weekend was my version of the very best Black Bean Soup.  This one is field tested and remains a kitchen favorite.  Like every other soup, it is much better a few days later or after a freeze.

I enjoyed getting my soup on this weekend.  What's your favorite Soup to create?

 What's your Soup of the Day?
What's your Soup of the Day?