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Posts Tagged ‘lentils’

“Mouthwatering” and “lentil” in the same soup? I wouldn’t have thought so until this week. I’ve come to realize that brown lentils taste and look a little too much like dirt to be palatable to me. Red lentils, however, are a different beast. These tiny salmon-colored disks cook down into lovely, soft golden layers of mellow goodness. The red lentil soup I made previously was delicious. But this soup – this last lentil soup was divine. And really, really filling. And would have been really frugal, if not for the rich, creamy coconut milk the recipe called for. It wasn’t too bad for me this go-around: I used up another 1/3 of a can of coconut milk I had bought in Austria for only a euro…so about 50 cents for the coconut? Not bad. However, it would be a little more decadent if the coconut had been purchased here, as the only store I know of that carries it charges about 35 kn ($7) for a can. Now I know what to stock up on when I visit Austria again! I’m also interested in trying to make coconut milk…one option I saw called for equal parts unsweetened dried coconut and boiling water, allowing them to steep for 20 minutes and then straining the pulp out.

Garam Masala Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk
adapted from The Nourishing Gourmet

1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup brown rice
4 cups water
1 carrot
1/2 cup coconut milk

Tadka
3 tbsp coconut oil
3/8 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/16 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, plus more to taste

Saute onions and turmeric in coconut oil until soft and translucent; add the garlic and cook another minute.
Add the water, lentils and rice. Grate the carrot with a fine grater into the soup, and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, on a low simmer until the lentils and rice are soft.
Add the coconut milk and cook for a few minutes. Blend to desired consistency using an immersion blender.
In another pan, melt the coconut oil on medium heat. Add the spices and stir, cooking until fragrant. Stir into the soup, and season with salt and additional pepper as desired.

Makes 3 servings. Serve with fresh naan bread for a delicious and fragrant meal!

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The last lentil soup I made tasted like….well, like lentils. Not my favorite flavor. But the lentil’s cheapness and healthiness was alluring, so I decided to give them another try. But this time, it would be the pretty little red lentils that would be utilized, and that would win me over.

This soup is delicious. I threw it together in about 10 minutes, and then let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes while I was getting ready for the day. I reheated it for lunch, and it was fabulous. Altogether, it probably cost about $1.50, and I’ll eat it again for lunches the rest of the week. I can’t wait to make it again, perhaps next time with curry instead of or in addition to the cumin.

Red Lentil Soup
Adapted from Epicurious.com

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 carrots, chopped (1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped fresh or canned tomato
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried red lentils
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
few good sprinkles of ground cinnamon
juice of one lemon wedge

Heat oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, carrots, tomato, cumin, cayenne, and salt and sauté, stirring, 2 minutes. Add lentils, broth, and cinnamon, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.
Squeeze in lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper.

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