February 2015. Here is a heart warming whole soup with warming Indian spices and a lot of love.
At solstice, with the coming of the new year, I set an intention to embrace whatever weather (and opportunity) this year brought. Already, I can say the weather is mighty fine. I made this recipe a few times already this year – the first, for a final gathering of lovely ladies in my little downtown apartment before I move to greener pastures (literally, I am moving to my friends farm).
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. peeled and minced ginger root (I always add more!)
- 2 small firm apples, peeled, cored and diced**
- 1 diced tomato
- 1 Tbsp. curry powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- ¼ tsp. cardamom
- ¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- ½ c. red lentils (uncooked)
- 4 c. vegetable broth
- ⅔ canned coconut milk
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- ½ c. roasted cashews
- jasmine rice
- Take all of those beautiful spices and grind them together with a mortar and pestle. This isn`t absolutely necessary, but this creates such a warming and fragrant beginning to cooking this beautiful dish that I really recommend it.
- Melt coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion & carrot, then sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onions have softened.
- Add the garlic, ginger, apples, and diced tomatoes to the pot. Sauté for another 3 minutes, then add in all of the spices and toss to coat.
- OPTIONAL COOKING METHODS: Add in the lentils and broth to a slow cooker and let the contents cook on high for 4-6 hours if you are using whole red lentils and approximately 3 hours if you are using split – See note below). If you don’t want to go the slow cooker route – add the lentils and broth to the pot and bring it to a boil. Then turn down the heat and let cook for approximately 40 minutes (until lentils are done.) MORE OPTIONS: Many recipes call for you to whip out your immersion blender and go to town at this point. I prefer having some bit of veggie texture for this soup (again, your call!)
- Stir in the coconut milk. Taste, and adjust salt and black pepper as/if needed.
- Serve topped with cashew and cilantro. I prefer to serve this beauty with some coconut and saffron jasmine rice.
कृपया भोजन का आनंद लीजिये ! (kripyā bhojan kā ānnaṅd lijīyai) – please enjoy your meal (Hindi)
A note on red lentils:
Recently, while making this I used whole red lentils. These are the only organic red lentils that were available when I went to the market. Usually I do prefer split red lentils. So, what is the difference? Well, there isn`t much when it comes to measurements but the difference lies in cooking time and texture. Split lentils cook MUCH faster. Most whole lentils still have their outer skin on (usually why their red color is slightly muted compared to split lentils). I find split lentils usually almost melt into whatever you’re cooking. While whole red lentils can maintain their natural shape a bit more (in particular those that still have their skin on).