Tuesday, August 23

Coconut Red Lentil Soup

For my birthday this year, my mother gave me a stock pot (SCORE) because most of my pots at school are of the cooking-for-a-single-person size and one of the best, easiest ways to feed yourself is through massive, whatever-is-in-the-kitchen soups.  My grandmother has perfected this method of cooking and inspired me to learn.  One giant hurdle in this process has been lentil soups.

Lentils are apparently a type of edible pulse (a leguminous crop) that are incredibly healthy, but people also tend to be a little picky about flavoring and such.  Earlier in the summer, I spent one glorious day cooking with my friend Elizabeth, and we attempted this recipe.  Lordy, was it good.

Elizabeth took the photos, which
is why they are so good!

Coconut Red Lentil Soup
from 101 Cookbooks

1 cup yellow split peas
1 cup red split lentils (masoor dal)
7 cups water
1 medium carrot, diced
2 tbs fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 tbs curry powder
2 tbs butter or ghee
8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup tomato paste (this is one of those little cans)
14 oz canned coconut milk
2 tsp sea salt
one small handful of cilantro, chopped

Rinse the split peas and lentils and put them in a large soup pot with 7 cups of water.  Bring it to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.  Add the carrot and a quarter of the ginger.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.
In a small dry pan, toast the curry powder over low heat.  (This will open up the flavoring in the curry powder - just don't let it burn.  It is going to smell delicious.)  Set the curry powder aside.
Melt the butter in a pan (let's be honest... you should just use the same pan as the curry powder - without the curry powder) over medium heat, add half of the green onions, the rest of the ginger, and the raisins.  Stir constantly and let it cook for two minutes.  Next, add the tomato paste and cook for another one to two minutes.

green onions

Add the curry powder to the tomato paste, mix, and add it all to the simmering lentils with the coconut milk and the salt.  Uncover and simmer for another 20 minutes.

final product with the chapati that I love so much

Sadly, I don't remember what music was playing at the time, but we're going to go with some Red Hot Chili Peppers today.  This is the classic "Zephyr Song":

Swanson, Heidi. "Coconut Red Lentil Soup Recipe - 101 Cookbooks." 101 Cookbooks - Healthy Recipe Journal. 15 Mar. 2010. Web. 14 June 2011. <http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/coconut-red-lentil-soup-recipe.html>.

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