Coconut Curry Lentil Soup
I’m in need of upping my fiber content. I’ll spare you the details on why I think that! 🙂 Let’s just say, I’ve got some stomach issues going on! LOL
Beans (aka legumes) are some of the most fiber-rich foods you can consume. But depending on who you talk to, the Paleo diet says stay away. They argue that legumes are high in phytic acid and Lectin, which damage the small intestine and prohibit proper nutrient uptake. Although, I honestly think that’s a load of crap. There are a ton of foods that are Paleo approved that contain A LOT more phytic acid than any legume does, like cacao. Beans are an excellent source of fiber and cheap! They’ve also got a pretty decent amount of protein in them as well. Add a carb and some veggies and you’ve got a complete meal! So unless you’re actually allergic to legumes (it’s the 2nd most common food allergy), then I say consume away! Do your research, of course. And everyone’s body is different and may react differently to legumes. I, personally, don’t have a problem with them. I calculated this recipe at 197 calories a serving. Add a nice salad or veggie and you’re still under 500 calories for a hearty dinner!
This soup is a spin-off of a popular Indian dish called Dhal. Basically, I took my dhal recipe, thinned it out with coconut milk and added carrots. That’s the only difference. I make a lot of Indian recipes. Our family loves it and it’s probably my favorite ethnic food. Well, maybe tied for favorite. I do love a good taco! This recipe is super easy and quick to make. And cheap. WAY cheap. Probably won’t get much cheaper than this recipe! A 1 lb bag of lentils at Walmart is $1.25 here. Although, I can get them way cheaper than that when they go on sale at Sprouts. They’ll go $.69 a lb there a couple times a year. Feel free to substitute split peas instead. They taste the same to me in this recipe. I used red lentils this time but green lentils are fine too!
I love the smell of garlic and onions cooking. It’s probably the Italian in me that says it’s the best food combination ever created! My best friend growing up hated onions! I still don’t think she loves them. I never understood that. But then again, she would probably say the same thing about my aversion to mushrooms. We would always trade when we were little. I’d eat her onions and she would eat my mushrooms. Ok, maybe we still do that!
This dish isn’t that pretty by itself. It actually took me a little while to figure out how to make it look appealing for pictures 🙂 I rummaged through my cabinets a bit to find a pretty bowl. This bowl I bought in Cozumel a couple of years. This is the first time I’ve used it. Nice, huh?
- 1 onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom (optional, I don't think this adds a lot to the recipe)
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 cup dried lentils
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 3 cups hot water
- ½ can coconut cream
- 1 tsp salt
- Fry onion and spices in olive oil until golden brown.
- Add lentils, carrots, water, and salt.
- Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until lentils are tender (about 30 minutes).
- Remove cover and simmer another 20 minutes until lentils are mushy, like the consistency of refried beans.
- If you'd like, use an immersion blender to puree to smooth into a sauce. This is optional. If you like a chunkier soup, just leave it unpureed.
- Stir in coconut cream last. Garnish with onions or scallions.
- You can freeze this soup if you'd like. Just don't add the coconut milk until you're serving it!