Saturday, April 10, 2010

Coconut Red Lentil Soup

I know I said I was going to cook more meat, but for some reason, I still find myself drawn to vegetarian recipes.  How could I pass on something that included plenty of curry and coconut milk?  The last recipe I tried from this site was somewhat of a disappointment, but this recipe more than makes up for it.

I couldn't find yellow split peas, so I used green.  I'm not a fan of raisins, so I just excluded them.  I also skipped on the scallions and cilantro for garnish.  Finally, I ran out of curry powder (!  Perhaps that means a trip to Jean Talon to find fancy curry powder is in order!), so I added in a heaping 1/2 tbsp of garam masala.

Coconut Red Lentil Soup (from 101cookbooks)

1 cup / 7 oz / 200g yellow split peas
1 cup 7 oz / 200g red split lentils (masoor dal)
7 cups / 1.6 liters water
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons butter or ghee
4 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
1/3 / 80 ml cup tomato paste
1 14-ounce (398mL) can coconut milk
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt

1. Give the split peas and lentils a good rinse - until they no longer put off murky water. Place them in an extra-large soup pot, cover with 7 cups of water, and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot and 1/4 of the ginger. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.
3. In the meantime, in a small dry skillet or saucepan over low heat, toast the curry powder until it is quite fragrant. Be careful though, you don't want to burn the curry powder, just toast it. Set aside.  [I skipped this step out of laziness, but it's probably an excellent idea!]
4. Place the butter in a pan over medium heat, add half of the green onions and the remaining ginger. Saute for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and saute for another minute or two more.
5. Add the toasted curry powder to the tomato paste mixture, mix well, and then add this to the simmering soup along with the coconut milk and salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so. The texture should thicken up, but you can play around with the consistency if you like by adding more water, a bit at a time, if you like. Or simmer longer for a thicker consistency.

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