Making lentil soup is very similar to making regular lentil peas as a side dish to rice or dumplings. You can use the same aromatics and herbs to achieve similar flavor. The difference would be in adding more liquid, extra veggies and of course, provisions. Chrisal tries lentil soup for the first time and delivers an excellent recipe.
1/2 cup brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
3 cups water
2 tbs of coconut powder (add to water)
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup chopped fresh kale or spinach
2 small sweet potatoes, medium size cubes
2 cups of pumpkin, cubed
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice (½ to 1 medium lemon), to taste
Warm the oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. One-fourth cup olive oil may seem like a lot, but it adds a lovely richness and heartiness to this nutritious soup.
Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the pumpkin, sweet potato, garlic, cumin/geera, ginger, bay leaf and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.
Pour in the lentils and incorporate it well then add water and coconut milk. Add 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
Transfer 1 cup of the soup to a blender. Ensure the lid is security fastened, protect your hand from the steam and puree until smooth. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot. It will give it a creamy consistency without the cream and also add a nice colour.
Add the chopped kale and cook for 5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice – this will brighten it up. Taste and season with more salt, pepper or until the flavors really sing.