This is a really flavorful soup that comes together easily, especially since lentils don’t take nearly as long to cook as many other dried legumes. The inspiration came from the blog Delicious Obsessions, but I made quite a few alterations when I made it to give it more flavor, reduce the liquid and I found the required cooking time to be much less than the original recipe. Here’s my version:
1 1/2 cups lentils, soaked
1 quart chicken stock (homemade if possible), use vegetable stock if vegan/vegetarian
1 can coconut milk (or 1 1/2 c coconut milk)
4 cups (or 2 cans) diced tomatoes
4-6 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
1-3 T fresh ginger, minced or grated
1/2 – 1 T crushed red chili flakes
1 T cumin
1 T coriander
1-2 tsp sea salt
2 T coconut oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2-3 sweet bell peppers, diced
2-3 stems of celery, chopped (optional)
2 large carrots, peeled and grated (optional)
1 lemon, juiced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
plain greek yogurt to serve (optional)
Measure out lentils into a large pot and cover with several inches of water. Allow to soak 6-8 hours, overnight, or even longer if you’d like to sprout them (just be sure to change the water every 12 hours or so–they will sprout in 24-36 hrs). Give them a final and thorough rinse and let them drain in a fine mesh colander.
Place empty pot over medium heat and add coconut oil, red chili flakes, cumin, coriander and salt. Fry the spices lightly until fragrant and add onion, garlic, bell peppers and celery if using. Saute the veggies until the onions have started to brown. Add drained lentils, stock, diced tomatoes with their liquid, and coconut milk. Add ginger and grated carrot if using, to pot and stir well. Taste and adjust spices if necessary. Bring up heat enough to simmer everything for 20-30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Lastly, add the juice of one lemon and 3/4 of the chopped cilantro.
Serve with a dollop of greek yogurt and garnish with remaining cilantro.