Soup’s On! (Je Soupçonne)

It’s getting cold out….and if you live in the Northeast, then it’s about time! Not that I’m complaining about the 65 degree weather we are having this late in the year, but it just feels so strange to be walking outside with just a sweater in late November.

Anyway, the forecast reads mid-40s for the next few days. I know that’s amateur cold weather, but it’s still cold. So,wrap a blanket around yourself, put on a cute pair of socks and let’s make some soup!

This soup is a-maz-ing! It’s so delicious! Although the original recipe wasn’t particularly spicy, I have adjusted the amounts of the spices. However, feel free to adjust to your liking, whether it’s milder or spicier.

Je soupçonne que vous allez adorer cette soupe!

Spiced Coconut Lentil Soup

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large or 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • One-inch piece of peeled ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Pink Himalayan salt
  • Black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime

In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion, season, cover and allow to soften for several minutes. To the pan, add the minced ginger and garlic, along with the chili flakes. Cook for a few more minutes until the flavors begin to infuse.

Add the lentils and carrots along with the chili powder, paprika, and cumin. Stir thoroughly until the lentils are coated. Pour in the coconut milk and water. Taste and season with some more salt and pepper.

Cover, bring to the boil and then lower to a simmer for forty minutes, stirring frequently.

Juice the lime and set aside.

When the lentils have softened and almost disintegrated to form a thick, creamy soup, take the saucepan off the heat, pour in the lime juice, taste for seasoning, and serve with a few fresh coriander leaves or strips of lime zest for garnish.

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A Little Lentil Lovin’

Lentils are one of nature’s power foods. They’re filled with iron, protein, and fiber, and therefore are superfilling — not to mention healthy.  One serving of lentils provides more protein than a serving of steak.  They’re also pretty inexpensive.  And if all that is not enough, they’re also easy to cook.  You don’t have to soak them overnight as you do with other beans.  You just toss them into a pot, add some water and they’re done in about 25-30 minutes.

Lentils are a widely eaten staple food throughout the Middle East and India, as well as used in many European recipes.  There are many different types, including yellow, pink, red, and black varieties.  However, the most common in North America are the green variety.  Occasionally, I will cook a pot and store in the refrigerator for a few days’ worth of lunches or dinners.

There are many ways to cook with lentils.  They are a good substitute for meat and can replace part or all of the meat in a burger or meatloaf.   They can also make a nice creamy dip – throw a cup or two of lentils in a food processor with a little olive oil, garlic, spices (cumin and chili powder are nice here) and other veggies and spread on toasted pita bread.  

If your experience with lentils is limited to just soup, try a salad:

 

Lentil, Tomato and Feta Salad

serves 4

  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (or grape tomatoes, halved)
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 6 0z feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place the lentils in a saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for 20-25 minutes – don’t overcook.  Drain and cool the lentils in a colander.

Place the lentils in a large bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and toss well.  Add a couple of pinches of salt and a pinch or two of pepper to taste.