11 October 2013

Curried Lentil Soup

 This soup is like a warm hug on a cold day.  Are you experiencing too many cold days lately?  Great, me too.  I could use a warm hug.  I could use more soup.
I think I'm ready to officially declare soup to be one of my favorite foods ever.  It's an easy way to make healthy food - I'm not a big fan of steamed veggies, so soups are a great way to get those veggie servings without roasting or frying.  I've even added a soup section to the Recipes page.

In addition, I really want to encourage you to try making your own chicken broth.  It's so easy, and this soup really makes it convenient.  Since this recipe requires both carrots and celery, you have the perfect opportunity to throw the celery greens and stubs in with the broth, as well as the odds and ends of the carrots.  The flavor is just phenomenal - I find that store-bought cartons just taste a little too canned.  At least check out the broth-making post and give it some consideration.
Saute onions, carrots, celery and mushroom ('shrooms are optional) until tender.  In retrospect, maybe this still counts as frying ;)
Add garlic, ginger and curry powder and saute for 4 more minutes.  Then add lentils, tomatoes, brats and broth.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, then simmer until lentils are tender (mine took 20 minutes - check the package to see how long to cook your lentils).  Somewhere between adding the lentils and filling the pot with broth, I realized my 4-qt pot wasn't nearly big enough for the job, so I switched to a 3-gal pot.
Simmer, simmer, simmer.  Good smells waft.  Dream of a ready-to-go lunch for the next week and a half.  Finally, the timer dings.  It's go time.  Soup.
I made a double recipe, so if you make this recipe then a 4-qt pot will be fine.  If you want to have a ready-to-go lunch for the next week and a half, double the recipe below.  This recipe could easily be vegetarian, too - skip the brats and sub in veggie broth for chicken broth.

Curried Lentil Soup (inspiration here)
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 sm onion, chopped (~1/2 c.)
  • 1 c. carrots, chopped
  • 1 c. celery, chopped
  • 4 oz mushrooms, chopped (1/2 a package, or about 1.5 c.) - totally optional
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs fresh ginger, minced (can sub 2 tsp ground dried ginger)
  • 1 - 1.5 tbs curry powder
  • 2 c dry lentils
  • 1 c. chopped tomatoes (fresh preferred, a 28 oz can is fine too)
  • 4 brats, chopped
  • 3 c. chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley
1.  Saute the onion, carrots, celery and mushrooms in olive oil until tender.  Mushrooms add a great texture to this soup, but if mushrooms aren't your thing then definitely leave them out.
2.  Add the garlic, ginger, and curry powder and saute 4 more minutes.
3.  Add the lentils, tomatoes, brats and broth.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer according to lentil directions until lentils are tender (15-20 minutes for my lentils).
4.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with fresh parsley, if possible.

Love!  This soup was so delicious, and really made a cold, busy week easier.  I can't wait to make it again!

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