Let’s discuss via the story of my favourite purple lentil soup. Years in the past, two of my neighbors hosted a soup celebration. It was an inspiring affair – huge pots of simmering soups and stews, home stuffed with chatty, pleasant folks. A part of what I appreciated was the easy premise. The hosts (David & Holly) made various soups, visitors had been requested to reach with their drink of selection and one factor to share – salad, appetizer, or one thing candy.
Coconut Red Lentil Soup in a Bowl

The Inspiration:

One of many vegetarian soups that evening was a good looking shade of yellow-orange. It was a light-bodied, curry-spiced coconut broth thickened with cooked purple lentils and structured with yellow cut up peas. It seemed to be a good looking tackle lentil soup. After I requested Holly to inform me about it, she talked about it was based mostly on an Ayurvedic dal recipe within the Esalen Cookbook, a favourite of hers. I believe that recipe might need been impressed by the Bengali-style cholar dal the place you see chana dal punctuated with raisins in lots of preparations.
Ingredients for Soup on a Marble Counter

Holly occurred to have an additional copy of the Esalen ebook, and despatched me house with my stomach full, a brand new cookbook tucked below my arm, and some strategies associated to the soup. I nonetheless make this soup recurrently, like it (a lot!), and thought it could be enjoyable to revisit it immediately in video type – get pleasure from! I’ve additionally included some notes associated to adapting this soup to the Immediate Pot.


What Makes this so Particular?

The strategy used to carry this soup collectively caught my consideration. Whereas your lentils are boiling, you saute plenty of scallions in butter (or ghee, coconut oil, or olive oil) in one other pan. Add to these scallions a fats dollop of thick tomato paste together with loads of toasted spices and also you’re in your means. This taste bomb is what you stir into the lentil base. Golden raisins plump up with curry broth. There are stunning again notes of ginger, and depth from that tomato paste. All of it comes collectively in a single wonderful bowl of restorative, lentil soup goodness. To be trustworthy, I contemplate the raisins non-compulsory and make this usually with out – or typically I swap in some chopped dates.
Red Lentil Soup

Topping Concepts:

I’ve cooked this soup numerous occasions over time and have a tendency to complete it with what I’ve available. The unique recipe has you go huge on cilantro. However you’ll be able to see in these pictures I typically pile it excessive with further scallions and freshly-baked kale chips. Different concepts:

  • end with a couple of huge handfuls of finely shredded inexperienced cabbage
  • stir in a couple of huge handfuls of chopped kale
  • fry 30-40 recent curry leaves in a couple of tablespoons of oil including some chile flakes (or torn chiles), mustard seeds and cumin seeds within the final 15 seconds or so. Pour generously over every bowl
  • end with deeply roasted tomatoes and omit the raisins

Coconut Red Lentil Soup in a Bowl

A Variation

There was one variation that I famous after cooking this as a result of it caught out to me as significantly scrumptious. I used to be out of scallions and ginger however nonetheless wished to make one thing alongside these strains. As an alternative I used a robust paste product of chopped garlic and serrano peppers – most likely a 50/50 mix. I added a couple of tablespoons of the combination rather than the scallions within the recipe. The top end result was feisty, robust and actually great.

I hope you get pleasure from this as a lot as we’ve over the past decade or so! Here is the place yow will discover all of the soup recipes, if you wish to discover extra. And there are many lentil recipes within the archives as nicely.

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