Lentils, according to one of my favourite chefs, are one of Canada's most under appreciated ingredients. Cheap, healthy and filling, they really should be in your pantry. This soup was very easy to make and I had everything already in my pantry! I love the mild curry flavour with the coconut milk. It's really filling, freezes well, and packs nicely in a lunchbox.
How low can you go tip: If you roast a whole chicken, make stock out of the carcass and then freeze it to make this soup at a later date. Also, coconut milk and tomato paste freeze really well so you can keep them around to use in other recipes as well.
10 oz (1 1/2 cups) dried split red lentils
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp garam masala
1-2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 Tbsp tomato paste
5 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup coconut milk
In a large soup pot, saute the onion in olive oil until lightly browned and softened. Add the garlic and continue to saute for about a minute more, stirring and taking care not to burn it.
Add the cumin, coriander, garam masala, ginger, and tumeric. Toast the spices a bit, stirring, over the heat. Stir in the tomato paste as well and then the lentils.
Pour in the chicken stock and bring the soup to a boil, then turn down and simmer, uncovered for about 25-30 minutes. You may need to watch and top up with some chicken broth if it gets too thick as the lentils cook and expand. It will get really thick, almost like oatmeal, but don't add too much broth because in the end you are going to add some coconut milk.
When the soup is cooked, puree half of it in a blender or food processor. Pour the pureed soup back into the pot and add about 1/2 - 3/4 cup of coconut milk. Heat through.
Serve with chopped cilantro to garnish.
Makes 4-6 servings
Adapted from Gordon Ramsay