Coconut Red Lentil Soup
Cheery and light, this is a great soup for any season.
But first, a few more pictures of SNOW.
Keweenaw Peninsuala style, that is, as in 274 inches this year (yep, that’s right…nearly 23 FEET of snow!).
These are not drifts from the wind or snowplows…it’s just snow. Somewhere back there through the tunnel is a door to the house. Needless to say the Great Bear Chase ski marathon was not cancelled due to lack of the fluffy white stuff, over 800 people gathered for the race held on the Swedetown Trails and hosted by the welcoming community of Calumet. Snow is a way of life up there, I would think you’d have to love it or leave.
Okay, back to food.
Red lentils need to be rinsed well to remove some of the indigestible starches. Either use a colander and run water through them for a few minutes, or place in a large bowl and pour water until covered, swish with your fingers, then pour out the water and repeat 3 or 4 times. You will notice the water will be less cloudy after a few rinses.
Toast until fragrant
This is a term often used with Indian cooking in particular—the spices are toasted in a dry pan until the volatile oils are released and you can smell their magic. Dry roasting tends to both mellow and deepen the spice flavor and give it a lovely toasty addition. It may seem like an unnecessary step, but this is a time when the extra effort will pay noticeable rewards. Spices that really benefit from dry roasting: cumin seed, fennel seed, cardamom, mustard seed, cloves, fenugreek, and coriander seed, to name a few.
Usually the whole seeds are toasted or dry roasted before grinding, but here I’m using a pre-mixed curry powder instead of whole spices and it still seemed like it helps to toast though you can also lose the volatile oils more quickly.
This is an easy soup to make and sup upon as you’re watching the rain melt all of the snow and wondering how you’ll navigate through the slush. This could get interesting.
Coconut Red Lentil Soup
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Rinse 4 or 5 times:
2 cups Red Lentils
Heat in a soup pot:
2 Tablespoons Butter, Ghee or Olive Oil
2 medium Onions, around 2 cups
2 cups diced Winter Squash or Orange Sweet Potato (or add cooked&mashed squash at the end)
2 Tablespoons Garlic, minced (around 4 cloves)
2 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger, peeled and grated or minced
2 teaspoons Sea Salt
Saute until onions begin to turn translucent, then add:
6 1/2 cups Water
Simmer until everything is cooked, around 30 minutes.
Meanwhile toast the curry until fragrant. Heat a saute pan and add:
4 teaspoons Curry Powder
Toast for a few minutes until you can smell the curry.
When lentils are cooked, mash with a potato masher or puree half of it for a creamy texture.
Add to the pot:
1 14oz. can Coconut Milk, full fat
the Toasted Curry Powder (4 teaspoons)
Pinch of Cayenne, to taste
2 more teaspoons Fresh Ginger, minced
Simmer for 5 minutes, then taste and adjust–especially Salt, Curry, and Water.
Serve topped with any of these:
- Toasted Coconut Flakes
- Plain Yogurt
- Fresh Tomato, diced
More incredible stonework from Calumet on the Keweenaw Peninsula of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The copper mining industry had quite an effect on the area.
“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”
Ursula Le Guin