Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Red Lentil Soup

It snowed this week.  A LOT.  Winter has arrived aggressively and without warning this year -- it went from sneakers and puffy vest weather to boots and parka weather overnight!  Gah!  How to respond?  It is Minnesota, after all -- winter lasts for nearly half the year here.  Might as well embrace it!  Pull on the boots, don the parka and head out into the winter wonderland; later, when you get home, make soup.

Red lentil soup, to be precise.  In my opinion, red lentil soup is one of those meals that is so complex, flavorful, and warming you forget how HEALTHY it is -- warm spices, lentils, greens, veggies, and just enough coconut milk to smooth things out.  Red lentil soup is delicious after a day spent out in cold, blustery, wet weather, or after a day (or several days) of too much indulgence (ahem, Donut Crawl!)  This would be a welcome post-holiday-indulgence meal to jump-start healthier eating, or a post-snow-shoeing meal, or any time you need warmth and nourishment all in one tasty package.

Red Lentil Soup
serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 c finely chopped onion
1 c finely chopped celery
1 c finely chopped carrot
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 tsp anise or fennel seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
2 to 4 dried chilis
4 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 c red lentils, rinsed
14 oz light coconut milk
2 c water
1 bunch swiss chard, stemmed and sliced thinly

1. Heat the oil in a 3 1/2 to 4-quart soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, turmeric, salt, dried chilis, and ginger.  Cooking, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and beginning to brown.
2. Add the lentils, coconut milk, and water.  Bring to a boil.  Lower the heat, cover, and simmer the soup for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Remove the chilis from the soup and stir in the chard.  Heat through just until the chard is wilted.  Serve with buttered naan or toast for dunking.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Red lentil soup is my favorite! It is SO good--I made a huge batch last week that we ate all week :)