Jul 29, 2009

A soup for every season

This is a creamy & comforting soup that, at first glance, appears more suited for cold weather. The spicy ginger and tart lime juice really brighten it up though, so it makes a quick, easy and delicious year-round dinner.

Dinner For One: Gingered Lentil Soup

Generally if I was writing a recipe like this I’d start with chopped onion & garlic, but the first time I went to make this soup I didn’t have any onions. I did have shallots though, so I tried them and it came out great. I’ve listed them as ingredients here but if you don’t have shallots, just sub back in half of a large onion and a clove of garlic. The jalapeno adds heat and the carrot adds sweetness but if you don’t have/like one - feel free to leave it out.

What you need:
.5 cup olive oil
3 large shallots, peeled & chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded & chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1” piece of fresh ginger, peeled & chopped
2 TB curry powder, mild or hot
Salt & pepper
1 cup red lentils
14oz. can chicken broth
5.5 oz. can coconut milk, light or regular
1 lime

How you make it:
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute shallots, jalapeno, carrot and ginger until the vegetables are soft. Add curry powder, a few shakes of salt & pepper and cook for one minute. Add lentils, stir to coat in the oil and let cook for one minute. Add chicken broth, cover pot and simmer until lentils are soft, about 15-20 minutes. The lentils will absorb almost all the liquid, if it’s becoming too thick add water a quarter cup at a time until it loosens up. When lentils are soft, remove from heat and puree soup in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth.*

Reheat lentil mixture over low heat and add coconut milk and lime juice. Stir until everything is combined, taste to see if it needs more salt and serve immediately.

*Not in the mood for soup? Just stop here and serve the thick lentil stew over white or brown rice.


Kate said...

Those red lentils are beautiful! I have the hardest time finding those for some reason. I associate smooth lentil soup with hot weather actually. I used to eat it all the time in Egypt, something about eating hot stuff when its hot making you cool...

Pink of Perfection said...

oooh, this is my kind of soup. my love for red lentils is neverending. i think the color is just so gorgeous! and i love that you used coconut milk -- nice way to up the luxurious factor.