Curried Red Lentil Soup ♥

Easy weeknight fare, tastes better the next dayWhen cookbook author Nava Atlas offered to send copies of her new cookbooks awhile back, I was happy to accept! One great accident of blogging has been the discovery that Nava is a real person, not just some name on the cover of the one vegetarian cookbook that still appeals to me after returning to meat. (Well, of course she's a real person. But you know what I mean!)

(Would you like a personally autographed copy of Nava's new Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons? To throw your name in the (soup) pot, just submit a favorite soup recipe to Soup's On, this month's soup-happy event at A Veggie Venture. Interested? Here are all the details.)

This is a recipe that Nava especially recommends from Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons. Now I know why! It's a winner, especially if given a chance to sit a bit so the ginger and curry can move front-ward. It thickens a bit, too. This is one of recipes to play with, based on what's in season, what's on hand, what you have time for. My own taste would be to cut back on the lentils and add more vegetables. But the garlic-ginger-curry combination, it's great.



NAVA ATLAS FAVORITES FROM THE ARCHIVES

Fennel, Leek & Mushroom Sautée
Wine-Glazed Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Pepper Soup
And for Easter, the very pretty Ruby Eggs



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CURRIED RED LENTIL SOUP

Hands-on time: 30 minutes (20 if with chard or if your spinach doesn't need its stems trimmed)
Time to table: 24 hours (Nava's recipe says standing off head for an hour or two)
Makes 8 cups

6 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 tablespoon garlic (from a jar!)
1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed and "sorted" (which means to cull out any that are brown or misshapen)
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger (also from a jar, if you can find it, it's a wonder product)
2 teaspoons curry powder (I used a madras)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces spinach (stems removed, they get stringy) - or Swiss chard, sliced thin
Juice of a lemon (or lime, says Nava and don't skip this, says me)
Salt to taste

Bring the water to a boil in the microwave. (This step can be skipped if you're not in a hurry.) In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil til shimmery. Add the onion and garlic and stir til hot. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, til golden. Pile in the hot water and everything else (except the spinach and lemon juice). Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat to maintain a slow simmer and cook til the potatoes are done, 20 - 25 minutes. (Next time, I'd stop here, refrigerate overnight, and then return to a boil.) Season, then stir in the spinach cook for 5 minutes (10 - 15 minutes for chard).



A Veggie Venture is home of the Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and vegetable inspiration from Asparagus to Zucchini. © Copyright 2007

4 comments:

Delicious, Alanna. I'll have to try the lemon/lime tip next time.

wow, you have some good recipes. I cook a red lentil soup which I got from the macrobiotics. It's not complicated: two cups red lentils, celery, garlic, onions, carrot, bay leaf (I cook the garlic/onion separately and add at the end) cooked until the lentils disintegrate. Serve with brown rice or pasta, soy sauce, and lemon juice to taste. Really very simple, but very tasty. My son loves it. Got this from a macro retreat in 1989.

Hi Alanna
We make Dal( lentil dish) similar way and serve with bread/rice. When I make dal I don't add spices sometimes I use Garam Masala (Indian spice mixture), onions and tomatoes instead of potatoes. You can even make this with watercress. It tastes delicious. Picture looks lovely.

This looks really splendid. I could use a good spicy bowl of soup about now!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna