When the temperature hit 30 degrees yesterday, it felt borderline tropical. We’ve been in such a deep freeze in Chicago, like lots of other places, that I felt grateful to be able to go outside without my face hurting after a few minutes in the elements. I’ve been eating soups and stews, but the deep freeze had me looking for things that were hot & spicy like this curried lentil tomato coconut soup.
After a couple weeks cooped up, cabin fever really set in, and I was craving food with extra flavor. Each spoonful did not disappoint with curry powder, ginger and garlic. It had been a while since I cooked with red lentils, and I had forgotten how they melt into the most cozy, creamy, thick soup. I finished off each bowl with a generous splash of coconut milk and cilantro leaves.
Curried Lentil Tomato Coconut Soup
Adapted from Bon Appetit December 2017
2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 2-1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon medium curry powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup red lentils
1-14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro plus leases with stems for serving
2-1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1-13.5 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk, shaken well
Lime wedges for serving
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the coconut oil until it melts. Sauté the onions until starting to lightly brown, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder and red pepper flakes, cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the lentils, cooking for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, chopped cilantro, water, salt and pepper. Reserve 1/4 cup coconut milk for serving and add the remaining coconut milk to the saucepan. Bring the soup to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are soft.
Divide the soup into 4 bowls. Pour the remaining coconut oil and top with cilantro. Serves with lime wedges.