Sunday, December 14, 2008

Creamy All Spiced Red Lentil Soup

I only started learning how to use and eat lentils this summer after trying out Su’s curry lentil recipe . Today, I am determined to find more lentil recipes as I find them so tasty and satisfying.
I have to thank my friend Cathy for sharing this out-of-this-world red lentil soup recipe with me. Cathy, whom I met in Boston a couple of years ago, is a fabulous cook. She is not a professional Chef, but is not far from earning that title. Like me, she is a passionate cook and is eager to learn anything new about food. As she was flipping through magazines, she came across this fantastic soup recipe. I had never used red lentils before and was interested to know how to cook them. This was it. I fell in love with this recipe just by going through the ingredients in Cathy’s email. Exotic ingredients such as saffron, cardamom and red lentils awakened my senses just to imagine the vibrant colour and intense aroma of this soup. My intuition couldn’t be more right on the dot. This dish had everything any “gourmand” wishes for in a good soup: intense (but not overpowering) flavour, spiciness and creaminess.

The spice blend makes all the difference in the flavour of this soup. Combine them with coconut milk and you have a fusion between Indian and Thai.

I wouldn’t change a thing in this recipe. It’s absolutely divine.

Preparation time: 20 minutes, Cooking time: 20 minutes

Red lentils cook quickly and are great for soups, stews and rice dishes.
Recipe "au pif":
1 cup red lentils
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic glove, chopped coarsely
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 recipe
spice blend *
7 dried apricots, chopped coarsely
1 large tomato, chopped coarsely
1 red hot chili, finely minced
6 cups boiling water
2 ½ tbsp concentrated chicken or vegetable chicken stock, or 1 ½ cube chicken/vegetable stock
1 tbsp good quality curry powder
1 can (400ml) good quality coconut milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Fresh coriander, coarsely chopped

* Spice blend recipe:
½ tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp ground tumeric
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp crushed cardamom seeds (shells discarded)
½ tsp dried chili flakes
5 cloves
A pinch of saffron

Mix all spices in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large cooking pot, heat oil on medium high heat and add onions, ginger and garlic. Stir for about 2 minutes until ingredients turn golden brown.

Stir in the spice blend and stir for about 1 minute.

Add the rest of the ingredients, except the coconut milk, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 20 minutes, when the lentils are soft. Stir occasionally.

Remove pot from heat and stir in the coconut milk. Mix well and let it cool for a few minutes.

Use a hand blender to purée the mixture until smooth and velvety. Strain through a sieve.

Serve hot and garnish with fresh coriander.

Serves 4 people.



cucinone said...

You might want to try this easy recipe for an Italian lentil soup:

QlinArt said...

Thank you Cucinone. I love receiving recipes. I will definitely try it. Just bookmarked it.

miri said...

This soup looks so creamy and tempting! I will have to try it at home :)