Tomorrow, I am cooking for one of my clients and I have decided to make the same dish, lamb kebabs, for us, but that still left me with nothing for tonight. After consulting with one of my favorite websites, http://www.101cookbooks.com, I decided to give this version of lentil soup a try. I love lentil soup, but this is much better than the can of Progresso that I ate as a kid. I have a similar recipe of my own, but tonight I veered off course a little.
I knew that I had lentils of every variety in my cupboard, so this was a perfect recipe. If you do not have lentils in your cupboard, you should go and get some. They are the perfect staple because they cook quickly, are really versatile and their most delightful feature is that they're cheap. Another thing about the good ol' lentil is that they are full of great nutrients, B vitamins, minerals and fiber. I promise you, you are not getting enough fiber. So stock up on lentils and start cooking!
Oh wait, just a few more things, speaking of nutrients. Ginger and the spices that go into curry powder are anti-inflammatory as well as anti-carcinogens. Coconut milk is an ingredient that I am in love with. Stay away from the low fat version, the fat is the most important part. It is also anti-inflammatory and a great source of energy.
COCONUT RED LENTIL SOUP
1 cup / 7 oz / 200g yellow split peas
1 cup 7 oz / 200g red split lentils (masoor dal)
7 cups / 1.6 liters water
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons butter or ghee
8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
1/3 cup / 1.5 oz / 45g golden raisins
1/3 / 80 ml cup tomato paste
1 14-ounce can 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. 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 though, you don't want to burn the curry powder, just toast it. Set aside. Place the butter in a pan over medium heat, add half of the green onions, the remaining ginger, 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. 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.