Lentil-Coconut Soup Recipe for a Snowy Day

| 1/7/2015 10:20:00 AM

Winter has finally descended upon us. The holidays are over and done, today is the last day of vacation. Kids going back to school and workers back to work. The temperatures here in the midwest are hovering around 20, but the brisk cold winter wind is bringing that down to about 3 with the wind chill factor. The bugs that are taking the country by storm decided to stop here on Honeysuckle Hill for a visit and I have had a mild stomach bug for a couple of days. No one else here is sick, just me. We're eating lots of soups and I'm munching dandelion leaves a couple of times a day. It's keeping the stomach cramps to a minimum and I really feel pretty good, so it must be working.

I love lentils. Do you? My husband always thinks they are too bland. He'll eat them, but they're not his favorite. Until I started fixing them like this. Lentils are a wonderful ancient food that have been eaten by civilizations much older than ours. They are believed to have been cultivated as long ago as 8000 years. They are mentioned in the Bible. Before the 1st century AD, they were introduced into India. They are a traditional dish served in India known as dal, and most homes there eat lentils at least twice a day. They are also a healthy powerhouse of nutrition, containing high amounts of folate, B vitamins, fiber and protein, as well as many other vitamins and minerals. There are yellow lentils, brown lentils, red lentils and green lentils. You can easily make vegan, vegetarian, or meals with meat. Here's a picture of the mix I keep in my pantry:


It's just a mix of all the colors of lentils, because I think they're pretty. There are so many things you can do with lentils- burgers, loaves, casseroles, shepherd's pies and soups and stews. Today we're going to stick with the soup. This recipe serves 4 conservatively. Here's a list of the ingredients you'll need to make this lovely rich Lentil Coconut Soup:


• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 medium to large carrot, diced small
• 1 to 1-1/2 stalks fresh celery, diced small
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
• 2 cups sorted and rinsed lentils
• 1 can organic coconut milk
• 3 cups spring water
• 1 tsp garam masala spice
• 1/2 tsp ground coriander
• 1/2 tsp ground ginger
• Salt and pepper to taste

1/24/2015 10:55:20 PM

One other thought. I could discern no reason to use the pricey canned coconut milk. My assessment was that the same volume of water or broth would not have altered the taste or texture of this dish.

1/24/2015 9:41:12 PM

I had to omit the pepper and the garlic due to intolerance/acid reflux issues and make my own garam Marsala to omit the pepper. It tasted weird to say the least. I had made a double batch based on the author's glowing comments. Couldn't let it go to waste and so I added generous amounts of diced tomatoes and tomato paste to the mix and let it season overnight. What a difference it made. I would never serve this the same day it was cooked without letting it season for 6-10 hours in the refrigerator so the flavors can mix and blend. Sliced chicken sausages were a great addition in the rest of the batch.

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