Coconut Curry Lentil Soup – Mar 21, 2016

1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons curry powder
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can coconut milk
15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 ½ cups dry petite red lentils, rinsed and sorted
2 to 3 handfuls chopped spinach, kale or other green
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped cilantro, chopped green onion and/or sour cream for garnish

In stockpot, heat coconut oil over medium heat and stir-fry onion, garlic and ginger a couple of minutes until onion is translucent. Add tomato paste, curry powder and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute.

Add vegetable broth, coconut milk, diced tomatoes and lentils. Cover and bring to boil, then simmer on low heat for 20 to 30 minutes until lentils are very tender. (My experience: Check the lentils at 15 minutes because they will cook during the “bring up to a boil” process and then they’ll be done earlier…and not mushy after 30 minutes of simmering.) Season with salt and pepper. (I put the salt and pepper on the table and let everyone season their own soup.)

Just before serving, stir in spinach or other greens and garnish with cilantro, green onion and/or sour cream. (My experience: Because we usually have leftover soup, and because I like my greens bright green, I put chopped kale greens in a soup bowl and cover lightly with a damp paper towel and “steam” them in the microwave for 45 sec. to 1 min. Then I remove the paper towel and pour the heated soup over the greens and add the garnishes.)

Enjoy and we’ll see you at the next Souper Tuesday!