How frustrated are you by the seemingly never-ending string of bizarre weather records, towns underwater, Atlanta experiencing pre-Walking Dead conditions from a few inches of snow? I couldn’t be more ready for the subtle hints of spring upon us, an unseen bird whistling mid-morning; the sun a bit closer, less removed, seeming to reenter the atmosphere; a few days in a row running out the door with only a decent jacket. But the blasted groundhog says we’ve weeks to wait–even though our forecast in Memphis this weekend boasts a couple days with highs breaking 60 degrees–so I’m keeping recipes like these close.
This soup is perfect for those wintry nights when you’re just tired of the cold and need something easy and filling without being too heavy. I’m not as in love with lentils as being a vegetarian/vegan dictates I be, but in this spiced, creamy soup, they’re perfect tender little pucks, filled with fiber and protein.
You’ll love this soup because of the warming spices, basking in the cool, creamy coconut milk; the tender kale backstroking in the broth; the earthy mushrooms left whole for maximum flavor, marinated with the flavorful bisque.
You can cook the lentils in a pressure cooker to speed up the overall recipe time, but the simmering of the lentils is so inactive I don’t mind it. You can also use canned lentils if you have them to cut out that cooking time altogether.
Make this! It’ll warm your shivering bones.
- 1 1/2 C dried lentils (I used dalia split)
- 4-6 C stock (vegetable, chicken, not-chicken)
- olive oil, coconut oil, or ghee, for frying the onion (about 1 tablespoon or less, depending on what you're after)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- about 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, optional (I was out but would have used it otherwise for a gorgeous color)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- couple handfuls kale, torn into small pieces
- 2 C small button mushrooms
- 1 C coconut milk (NOT sweetened)
- salt, to taste
- Rinse the lentils in a colander and pick out any stones. Combine them in a pot with 4 cups stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil or ghee in a medium skillet and sauté the onion over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned in spots but not burnt, about 10 minutes or so. Add the garlic and spices and fry until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Scrape into the lentils and add coconut milk, kale, and mushrooms. If soup is too thick, add up to 2 more cups stock.
- Bring soup back up to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes, or until mushrooms are cooked and kale is tender. Add salt to taste.