Oh, this soup. As in the one I’ve been eating almost non-stop for an entire two weeks. It’s the problem (but not-really-a-problem) of recipe development. Make it, tweak it, eat it non-stop until you are finally convinced that you’ve found the winning combination. Then, make it again a few days later because you miss it and have to have it.
I made another batch of this when I was back in Virginia last week; I really wanted my mom to try it and I wanted to show my sister how to use red lentils in a soup. You know the happy dance you do when someone takes a bite of something you made and loves it? (Just me?) Well, let’s just say I danced all night.
Even though I come from a family of pretty healthy eaters, I’m reminded of the vegetarian-cooking bubble I live in when I share new recipes. I sometimes forget that not everyone knows how to swap in plant-based proteins for favorite recipes or what to do with lentils when they aren’t brown.
I think we’ve all had some version of the ubiquitous lentil soup: chunky vegetables, little spice, murky brown color. Don’t get me wrong, I love lentil soup as much as the next veg-head, but this is not your momma’s lentil soup. It’s creamy, spicy with a hint of richness. It may be the best lentil soup I’ve ever made.
Like most of my soups, I start with a quick saute of aromatics (onion, garlic, ginger and curry powder) followed by vegetables, lentils and tomatoes simmered in low-sodium vegetable broth from Pacific Foods.
I know I’ve said this before, but broth matters. I used to think that it didn’t; for years I bought the jars of vegetable bouillon instead of packaged broth. I didn’t notice what a difference it made until I switched over to Pacific Foods broth last winter. Bam. Whoops. I’m sorry for the overly-salty soups I’d been serving for years. Now, I stock up this broth by the case.
The cool thing about red lentils is that they almost dissolve into the soup completely, so you’re left with a chunky stew thickened by beans! After a generous stir-in of coconut milk, cilantro and fresh lime juice, this is one lentil soup that can’t be missed.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced white onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced (~ 3 cups)
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups Pacific Foods Organic Vegetable Broth low-sodium
- 1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the onion, garlic, ginger and curry powder and cook, stirring often until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes.
- Add sweet potatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes to cook. Add in the lentils, red tomatoes, salt and broth.
- Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are tender and lentils are mostly broken down, about 25 minutes.
- Stir in the coconut milk and simmer until heated through, about 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in the lime juice and cilantro and serve. Garnish with cilantro