Soups and curries are two of my favorite things and I knew I had to give this recipe a try. The flavors remind me a lot of Thai curries since the soup’s base is coconut milk. I used an Indian Garam Masala with Turmeric to give it a spicy, aromatic flavor. I toasted the spices with a few arbol chilies and ground them all together. The soup was really easy to make and all it really requires is a few hours for the ingredients to cook together. The result was a delicious and filling soup with nice coconut and curry flavors. The soup is surprisingly filling due to the rich broth and the high protein foods like chickpeas and lentils. I garnished a bowl with a drop of coconut milk, cilantro and sliced jalapeno. Plain yogurt would work great as a garnish as well. The soup goes well with rice, couscous, quinoa, or bread.
Red Lentil and Coconut Curry Soup
(Makes 8 Servings)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Garam Masala (see below)
- 1 tsp dried lemongrass, ground
- 2 heaping tsp turmeric, ground
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 3 cups red lentils
- 30 oz. chickpeas
- 1/4 cup ginger, minced
- 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, minced including seeds
- 30 oz. (2 cans) unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 9 cups water or vegetable stock
- 12 oz. tomato paste
- 1 lime, zest
- coconut milk, for garnish (optional)
- cilantro, chopped for garnish
- 1 jalapeno, sliced for garnish
- sliced limes, for garnish
- yogurt, for garnish (optional)
- leaves thai basil, for garnish (optional)
- In a large 10 qt. sauce pot, melt the butter and olive oil and add the onions, bell pepper, and jalapenos. Cook for 10 minutes until soft.
- Add the garlic, ginger, and tomato paste and cook for another 5 minutes until the garlic smells fragrant and the paste has caramelized slightly.
- Add the water, garam masala, ground turmeric, lemongrass, lime zest, coconut milk, salt, honey, lentils and chickpeas and cook uncovered on very low heat for 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Stir every 20 minutes to prevent burning. Add more honey, spices, or salt to taste.
- Serve with lime, cilantro, coconut milk and jalapeno slices.
Garam Masala Recipe:
- 3 arbol chilies, stems removed
- 1 tsp cumin seed
- 2 tsp coriander seed
- 2 tsp whole cloves
- 1/2 cinnamon stick, cut into small pieces
- 1 tsp nutmeg seeds
- 2 tsp cardamom pods
- 2 tsp peppercorns
- Toast the arbol chili, cumin, coriander, cloves, cinnamon stick pieces, nutmeg, cardamom pods, and peppercorns in a pan until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and place in a grinder and blend.