Coconut, Curry Lentil Soup

Forgive me for my recent lack of posts.  We’ve been doing a bit of traveling, some crafting, a deal of Christmas shopping, decorating and a lot of eating, including Gilligan, my 13 year old Weimaraner, whose binging around the neighborhood hasn’t gone well for his belly….or for my rug.  Ugh! I made everything from scratch in the olden days before delving into my ready-made family of five, soon followed by member number six.  I’ll do anything to make my life easier these days and that means jarred sauces, canned beans and lots of one pot dishes.  Here’s a one-pot dish I know you’ll love!  I’ve been determined to share it with you and I hope you will try it!!  Please send me some feedback if you do!!! Coconut Curry Red Lentil Soup.  This soup makes a complete meal with necessary macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals required for normal body functioning and disease prevention) as well as modest, non-nutritive ingredients that prevent inflammation, cancer and heart disease.  I served this delicious meal with a savory,  garlic Naan bread.  Dipping triangles of warmed bread into this creamy concoction made the velvety fusion of flavors a dinner you’ll want to create again and again.  This is a great vegetarian dish if you’re looking for a meatless Monday option!  The Lite coconut milk makes it creamy, smooth and flavorful and soups are a great way to get kids to eat their vegetables! Curry Lentil Soup Ingredients Red lentils look pretty, but any lentils will do.  Peel and roughly chop 4 medium or 5 small carrots.  Peel and chop 3 medium onions.  Mince 3-4 large cloves of garlic and 1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger.  Measure 1 1/2 cups lentils, 1 1/2 Tbsp curry and 3/4 cup cilantro, stems removed.  Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a large stock pot and add onions, cooking until golden brown. Onions, browning for Curry Lentil Soup Add 6 cups water, 1 1/2 cups lentils, carrots, 1 1/2 (14 oz) cans lite coconut milk, shaken well before adding, 2 bay leaves and 1 1/2 tsp salt.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer, continuing to cook, covered for about 20 minutes. In a small skillet, heat 1 1/2 Tbs oil over medium-low heat.  Add garlic, ginger, curry and cilantro.  Heat about 2 minutes. Garlic, Cilantro, Ginger, Cilantro, Curry for Curry Lentil SoupSpices for Curry Lentil Soup I can’t wait for you to smell this!! Yum!!! Add fragrant seasoning and herb mixture to soup and stir until well incorporated. Adding garlic, cilantro mixture to soup Puree soup until smooth.  A hand-held emulsifier works best.  I let the cord of my Kitchen-Aid burn on the hot eye of my stove so, after many years of making my life easier, I had to chuck it.  Maybe I will get a cordless one for Christmas…wink, wink.  I had to get out the ole’ blender to transform this soup into a combination of sweet and savory flavors. lentilsoup1_2000_1125 In search of a lentil soup the girls ordered and loved at an Indian restaurant in Pennsylvania, I found this one at vegetariantimes.com. It’s nothing like the soup the girls had, but when I read the ingredients in this recipe, I searched no longer.  I’m patting myself on the back right now.  If you make this and your kids eat it…give yourself a pat too.
Coconut Curry Lentil Soup
Serves 8
Rich and creamy, this is a perfect vegetarian fall soup
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Ingredients
  1. 4 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  2. 3 medium onions, chopped
  3. 1 1/2 cup red lentils, washed and sorted
  4. 4 medium carrots or 5 small, peeled and coarsely chopped
  5. 1 1/2 cans lite coconut milk
  6. 2 small bay leaves
  7. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  8. 1 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
  9. 1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
  10. 3/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  11. 6 cups water
Instructions
  1. In a large stock pot, heat 3 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until golden brown. Add 6 cups water, lentils, carrots, bay leaves and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking for 20 minutes.
  2. In a small skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, curry and cilantro. Cook, stirring often for about 2 minutes. Add to soup, mixing well to incorporate seasonings.
  3. Using emulsifier or blender, puree soup until smooth. Serve hot with garlic Naan bread.
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*something you may not know: research shows that curry can have a mild effect on helping the body absorb iron, particularly in iron-depleted subjects.  In Asian countries, consumption of turmeric and churchmen, or curry powders, along with a lower intake of meat is linked to a lower incidence of colon cancer. Hundreds of compounds, called bioactive components have been identified in hers and spices that act alone or together to reduce cancer risk.
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