We finally got some snow here in Portland although it only lasted a few hours it was truly beautiful for a short while. Growing up in California I’ve spent very little time in the snow and I’m always struck by how still and silent the world seems when it is blanketed in white. While I was sloshing through all the slush left over from our little storm I started dreaming about a nice warm comforting bowl of soup. Since I’ve been trying to avoid meat, dairy, gluten and sugar I had to think about my usual bowl of soup a little differently. I thought maybe a coconut based soup with some Indian spices and then I found this recipe from my favorite blogger Heidi Swanson and dinner was served.
Lentils are a great source of protein, don’t need to be soaked before cooking and an entire cup of cooked lentils contains just 200 calories. This soup tastes rich and decadent but won’t weigh you down. To bulk it up a little bit more you could serve it with some quinoa or brown rice or maybe a nice spoonful of yogurt.
Red lentil coconut soup
adapted from 101 Cookbooks
- 2 cups red split lentils
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 fresh jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped, including seeds
- 1 tablespoon fresh peeled and minced ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon curry powder or 1 tablespoon thai curry paste
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 7 cups water
- 1 can unsweetened light coconut milk
- 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- fresh cilantro and lime wedges for serving
Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven or large soup pan and add the onions, bell pepper and jalapeno and cook for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables have softened and start to take on some color. Add the garlic, ginger, spices and tomato paste and continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes until the mixture is toasty and fragrant. Add the water, coconut milk, lentils and chickpeas and cook uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes adding the lime juice at the end of cooking. Taste and adjust with more salt or more lime juice if desired. Serve the soup topped with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and some extra limes on the side.