We finally got some snow here in Portland although it only lasted a few hours it was amazingly beautiful for a short while. Growing up in California haven’t much experience with snow and I’m always struck by how still and silent the world seems when it blanketed in all that white. While I was sloshing through all the slush left over from our little storm, I started dreaming about a 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 for coconut lentil soup from my favorite blogger Heidi Swanson and knew I had to make a version of it. I made a few changes to the recipe based on what I had on hand and my personal preferences, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.
This vegan red lentil coconut soup is perfect on a cold night or when you want something satisfying but light. Lentils are a healthy 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.
If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #scalingback on Instagram so I can see what you came up with!
- 2 cups red split lentils, uncooked
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper cut into ½ 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
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ⅓ cup tomato paste
- 7 cups water
- 1 can unsweetened light coconut milk
- 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons 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, bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer 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.