Curried Lentil, Tomato, and Coconut Soup

It really was a wonderful holiday, wasn’t it?  The merriment and gatherings were over far too soon, and here we are in a brand new year.  Most of us have turned our sights to healthier eating and resolutions abound:  to lose weight, give up this or that, or begin a fitness program.

In the cold, dark days of January, counting celery sticks and eating poached fish seems like a punishment.  You know you should eat healthy, but you should eat well, too.  This recipe is right where you should be.  Curried Lentil, Tomato, and Coconut Soup is aromatic:  a sumptuous, filling, yet frugal broth that tastes decadent instead of punitive.  Redolent with spicy layers, the finished product is a rich tasting curry that seems like it took a lot more work.

The ingredient list and prep work is simple, but the flavor payoff is big, and this is exactly why Yotam Ottolenghi has such a devoted following.  Well known for his use of unorthodox flavors and ingredients, his inventive dishes are a celebration of nature and a toast to life.  They are imaginative.  They are delicious.

So for this year, let’s resolve to simply do better.  Raise your glass – it’s January.  And this is going to be one great year.

Curried Lentil, Tomato, and Coconut Soup

  • 2 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1   2 1/2” piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
  • 1 Tablespoon medium curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 1  14.5-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro, plus leaves with tender stems for serving
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1  13.5-oz. can unsweetened coconut milk, shaken well
  • Lime wedges (for serving)

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.  Add garlic, ginger, curry powder and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add lentils and continue to cook and stir, 1 minute more.  Add tomatoes, 1/2 cup cilantro, a generous pinch of salt, and 2 1/2 cups water; season with pepper.  Reserve 1/4 cup coconut milk for serving, then add remaining coconut milk to saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft but not mushy, about 20-25 minutes.  Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if needed.

To serve, ladle into bowls and drizzle with reserved coconut milk, topping with more cilantro.  Serve with lime wedges.

Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.  Soup can be made 3 days ahead.

– recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi, Bon Appétit – December 2017 / January 2018


Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.

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