Coconut Curry Lentil Soup – A Road Bikers Delight To End The Day With!

Just this last weekend, I was treated to a very nice soup.  After biking a 41 miler through Red Rock all the way to Blue Diamond and up the highway, Graeme (Soup Mister himself) decided to make us this very healthy Coconut Curry Lentil Soup. It was very healthy PLUS blog worthy to share. A true road bikers delight to end the day with!

The Verdict of Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

When Graeme said that he was going to make a very simple soup, it sounded like nothing special, but YUM YUM YUM, I was wrong! This soup was buttery without butter and very curry-delicious! I would lap this up again in a heartbeat *hint* *hint*!

This soup is very versatile as a soup or I’d even consider thickening it like a stew. Perhaps scooping papadums in the thicker version to pick up the buttery lentils and tomatoes. or put it over some nice white fluffy rice!

This soup was very good the next day, I had a spoonful right out of the fridge before heating up and it was awesome even cold! I wouldn’t change anything in the recipe.

Graeme used famous Vij’s Masala spice in the soup that I purchased up in Vancouver. Vij’s Restaurant is a must go to restaurant if you are ever in Vancouver, Canada.

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced (I think Graeme may have added a tad more)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp curry powder (Graeme used Viji’s Masala spice (pic above))
  • ½ tsp hot red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 400ml can coconut milk
  • 1 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups dry red lentils (Graeme used brownish/green lentils)
  • 2-3 handfuls of chopped kale or spinach (Oops, this was left off, perhaps next time we will add in)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Garnish: chopped cilantro (fresh coriander) and/or vegan sour cream (we used my homemade cashew cream)

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup Instructions:
  1. In a stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and stir-fry the onion, garlic and ginger until the onion is translucent, a couple minutes.
  2. Add the tomato paste, curry powder, and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the vegetable broth, coconut milk, diced tomatoes and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are very tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Before serving, stir in the kale/spinach.
  5.  Ladle out in serving bowls.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and/or cashew cream.
  7. Enjoy!

Graeme followed this recipe here from Vegangela’s Blog (Funny just realized Angela is from my hometown Winnipeg as well – nice stuff Angela!): http://vegangela.com/2014/01/09/coconut-curry-lentil-soup/

Soup Mistress Rating For Black Bean Soup With A Myriad of Fixings:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.8/5
Presentation: (3.85/5) 

Taste: (4.75/5) 

Curried Squash and Red Lentil Soup With Quinoa

Curry Squash Lentil Soup

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Brrr, can someone turn up the heat please? I’m in Vegas and it has been chilly and rainy for the last few days – I feel very much like I am back home in rainy Vancouver, BC!

Soup is on my mind more lately and since there seems to be abundance of squash at the supermarkets – I asked myself “why not make a soup with it?”

I found this recipe online (link below) but I adjusted it a tad to my liking.

The Verdict of Curried Squash and Red Lentil Soup With Quinoa

This soup’s broth turned out pretty tasty with just enough curry.  The original recipe called for only water in the base – I think adding in vegetable stock in place of the water made the broth much nicer! I liked how the cilantro oil floated on the top and gave a nice herbal flavour. The quinoa was hearty and filling and a great source of protein. If I was to make this soup again in the future (and I think I may), I would add a little more celery. I think the soup had a little more room for some chunky vegetables like celery and carrot if you like. I also liked the fact that I substituted coconut oil for olive oil – it added a little bit of a Thai flair to the curry broth. My soup tester fella really liked the souo as well and only commented that it needed a little more ginger in the next batch!

I found it interesting that the red lentils sort of dissolved into the soup. I am sure they added to the tasty broth even though I could not distinguish them in my spoonful of goodness!

We ate the soup two days in a row and on the second day, we added some torn up kale – it worked very well in the soup!  I never felt healthier after soup as I did with this one!

Curried Squash and Red Lentil Soup  Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped small
  • 2 carrot, chopped small
  • 2 celery rib, chopped small
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 quart (32 oz) vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup quinoa

For cilantro oil:

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoon coconut oil
  • salt
I like to chop the vegetables really nice and small so it presents well in the soup!

 

Curried Squash and Red Lentil Soup Instructions:

  • Heat coconut oil in a large heavy pot,  on medium saute squash, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon salt, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, 10-15 minutes.
  • Stir in curry powder and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.
  • Add lentils, broth and water and simmer, covered, until lentils are tender, 25 to 35 minutes. Stir in lemon juice into soup and season with salt and pepper in the soup.
  • In a separate pot while soup is simmering, boil 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water, simmer until fluffy.
  • Ladle soup into bowls, add in a scoop of quinoa and drizzle cilantro oil.
  • Enjoy!

Make cilantro oil: 
Purée cilantro, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender.

Serve soup drizzled with cilantro oil.

Original recipe from here: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Curried-Squash-and-Red-Lentil-Soup-351416#ixzz2l7gwR653

What I Changed From Original Recipe:

  • Replaced butter and vegetable oil with cocnut oil for soup base and cilantro oil.
  • Changed basmati rice to quinoa as the accompaniment.
  • Replaced half the water with broth – I like always using a vegetable broth for more depth.
  • Added 1 more carrot and celery rib.
  • Added salt to cilantro oil. It tasted too bland without the salt. Salt lifts the flavours very much so!

What I’d Do Next Time to Make it Even Better:

  • Add one more celery rib.
  • Add one more teaspoon of minced ginger.

Soup Mistress Rating for Curried Squash and Red Lentil Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (5/5
Presentation: (3.5/5) 

Taste: (4.25/5) 

Sunchoke Lentil Soup With Garnish Galore!

Sunchoke lentil soup

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with a apple, chive, sunchoke medley

I’ve been meaning for quite sometime to make this soup when my boyfreind shared the original recipe from the Wall Street Journal back on January 13, 3013. I never had a chance to cook with sunchokes in the past nor did I hear of them till late last year. And now I notice more restaurants in Vancouver like The Acorn making Sunchoke soup. I was even more motivated to make this soup. Is this a new fad of soups? Hmmn.

The Verdict of Sunchoke Soup?
This recipe was very thought out with the great looking garnish that took it further than a garnish because it added another level to the soup with taste and texture. Two thumbs up to Chef Michael Anthony from the Gramercy Tavern in New York known for fine-dining take on hyper-seasonal American cuisine with this recipe.

 

The soup was healthy and sans cream or milk products. Loved it also because the topping with chives was exquisite and the crunchy apples a fine texture and just enough sweetness. The fried tiny Sunchoke pieces are subtle and plays well with chives and apples. The soup was very velvety and creamy like a pureed cauliflower soup (one of my favs). The bouquet spices made a strong statement in the pot of soup for a tiny packet.

I adjusted the recipe and added more lentils to make a meal out of my soup. I took it to work two days in a row for lunch and it filled me up just fine!

One thing I would do different next time if I made this soup is I would use a lighter coloured vegetable stock (like Imagine Organic Vegetable Low Sodium Stock). The stock I used for this time (Pacifico Organic Vegetable Broth) was way too orange for my liking. I would have loved to have a whiter looker soup (prettier in my opinion being more white). Oh, ya, sprinkle a little lemon juice on the apples before adding to the medley if you want them looking white for next day and store the medley in an airtight plastic container.

 

Sunchoke Soup Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup black lentils
  • pinch salt, plus more, to taste
  • 4 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced ½ inch thick
  • 2 pounds sunchokes, all but 2 pieces (about 3 inches each) peeled and cut into ½ inch coins
  • 8 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly sliced
  • 15-20 corriander seeds
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • pepper to taste
  • ½ cup apples. Cut into ¼ inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
Sunchoke Soup Instructions:
  1. Set a small pot of water over high heat and bring back to a boil. Add lentils and pinch salt and simmer until lentils are just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, make soup: Set a deep pot over medium heat and swirl in 2 tablespoons oil. Add onions, leeks, shallots, garlic and celery. Sweat until softened and translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add sunchokes and sweat until slightly softened, 1-2 minutes more.
  3. Add enough stock to just cover vegetables and raise heat to high. Wrap spices and ginger in cheesecloth, secure with kitchen twine and add sachet to pot. Once soup comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high and simmer steadily until sunchokes and fork-tender, 20-30 minutes.
  4. While vegetables simmer, assemble garnish: peel and cut reserved sunchokes into ¼ inch dice/ Set a medium pan over medium heat and swirl in remaining oil/ Once hot, sauté diced sunchokes until tender and golden all over, about 5 minutes.
  5. Mix sautéed sunchokes with cooked lentils, apples and chives. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
  6. Once vegetables have simmered, set a sieve over a large bowl and pour soup through to separate vegetables from stock. Discard sachet and reserve stock. In a food processor, puree vegetables until smooth.
  7. Return pureed vegetables to pot and stir in enough stock to create a loose yet creamy consistency. Bring back to a simmer and season with salt and white pepper to taste.
  8. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and place a large spoonful of sunchoke-apple-lentil garnish in center of each bowl.
What I changed from original soup recipe:
  • Used black pepper instead of white pepper
  • Doubled lentils
  • Used 3/4 cup of diced apples instead of 1/2 cup
  • Used more chives, corriander and two star anise
  • Used a mix of lentils (black and brown)
Soup Mistress Rating for Sunchoke Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (4/5) 
Taste: (4.5/5) 

Parsnip Red Lentil Chipotle Soup – A Tasty Soup Not Acquainted With The Freezer

Parsnip Lentil Chipotle Soup

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The Completed Parsnip Red Lentil Chipotle Soup.

The other day, Jan Comerford Surgent (another soup-a-holic and Facebook friend) posted on Soup Mistress wall that she likes to cook up a tasty lentil and chorizo soup with chipotle pepper and shredded carrots. Yum, that did sound tasty and inspired me.

Since I am a big fan of chipotle pepper and I never attempted any kind of lentil soup in the past, Jan inspired me to look further. I went on my merry way and searched online for lentil soup recipes and one in particular grabbed my attention which had bacon. So I decided to run with the recipe with a few modifications plus taking Jan’s suggestions to use chipotle pepper.  I decided to use parsnips instead of carrots, since I had them on hand. I  also shredded the parsnips with Jan’s recommendation as well, instead of chopped.

The Verdict of Parsnip Red Lentil Chipotle Soup? This is one soup I wished I made two batches of because none made it to my freezer for a later date. I had a friend over to help me and the soup was well received with a request for a second bowl. Some lentil soups call for blending, but I don’t think this soup needs any blending what-so-ever – I like the tiny pieces of onion and contrast with the ingredients. This is one soup where the ingredients play really well together. I really liked the shredded parsnips and how they played into the soup background. This soup is a little on the spicy side – so no wussies allowed! If you feel like a milder soup – maybe use a small or half of a chipotle pepper but don’t omit it. The cilantro and dollop of goat yogurt cools the soup and plays well with the bacon and heat of the pepper. Yeppers, this soup will be made again in my home in the future, I am very sure of that!

Parsnip Red Lentil Chipotle Soup Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup chopped bacon
  • 2 cups onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups parsnips, shredded
  • 3 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed
  • 1 medium – large chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1/8 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  •  ¼ cup cilantro, chopped (keeping some for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup goat yogurt
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Parsnip Red Lentil Chipotle Soup Instructions:

  1. Chop the bacon into small pieces and cook it over very medium-low heat in a heavy bottomed pan.
  2. Reserve the bacon on a plate with paper towel, leaving about a tablespoon of bacon fat in the pan to saute the onions.
  3. Saute onions and garlic for about 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
  4. Add parsnip and tomato to the pan, stirring occasionally, and cook for about 2 more minutes.
  5. Add the bacon pieces, lentils, chipotle pepper, and the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat. Cover the pan and simmer until the lentils are soft (30 to 40 minutes). Check the soup occasionally to see if more liquid is needed; the lentils should be covered.
  6. Add lemon juice and cilantro, stir.
  7. Add the salt and pepper (to taste) and serve.
  8. Ladle in serving bowls, garnish with a tablespoon of goat yogurt and cilantro.

Original Recipe: http://www.recipetips.com/recipe-cards/t–1748/lentil-and-parsnip-soup.asp

What I Changed From Original Recipe:

  • used more bacon
  • added garlic
  • used parsnip only (no carrots), and shredded (not chopped)
  • added chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • used low sodium vegetable stock\added cilantro
  • added goat yogurt as garnish
  • added fresh lemon juice

Soup Mistress Rating for Parsnip Lentil Chipotle Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (4/5) 
Taste: (4.75/5)