I love soup.

Ginger, scallions, golden raisins sauteeing in butter!

It’s true. I really really love me some soup.  I like making it as much as I like eating it.  If I’m out of sorts and everything in my life seems off kilter, there is something about sizzling onions and garlic in oil, the chopping and mincing of different colors and textures, everything swimming together in brothy goodness, that sets me right back on track. If there is bubbling hot homemade soup on my stove, all is right with the world.

Lately I have been all over food blogs (or food porn as I like to call it). My current favorite is Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks.  Her slant is natural, vegetarian, whole foods with a dash of travel and life, not to mention stunning food photographs that actually inspired me to get cooking again after a long rut.  These days I am trying to accommodate an eight year old who is a committed vegetarian.  He is also a real foodie kind of kid, too, and appreciates new dishes and even thanks me after I make something particularly good.  I don’t want to let him down.

this soup is really quite easy

We both give this recipe from 101 Cookbooks two enthusiastic thumbs up.  Even the three-year old liked it.  My meat and potatoes eleven year old, not so much, but he did eat some of it along with a whole pile of bread.  I served it with warm whole wheat Nan (found at my market) brushed with olive oil (instead of the farro or rice).  It is not spicy, but has just the perfect amount of heat from the ginger and curry.  The cooked carrots and the plump golden raisins add some subtle sweetness.  I skipped cilantro because we don’t do cilantro chez Sweat Pea.  Did I mention I got to use coconut milk for the first time?  Yum.  I think I need to do that again.

these colors = just what I needed in February

I am printing her recipe as it appears on her website.  The photo below is hers as well.  I think this is highly not okay in the blog world.  Still trying to figure out how to contact her for permission.  Until then, a shout out to Heidi through the blogosphere.

Here it is, 101 Cookbook’s Coconut Red Lentil Soup.  Too excellent to keep from my friends.  I’m so good to you like that.

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Coconut Red Lentil Soup

Coconut Red Lentil Soup

See the photo in the main entry if you aren’t sure what type of lentils and split peas to buy. For those of you who are curious, I used the Terre Exotique Madras Curry Powder I picked up in Paris – it looks like it is available here now too (I think I’ve come across it on Amazon’s grocery section). Vegans – you can easily make this vegan by using coconut or olive oil in place of the butter called for.

1 cup / 7 oz / 200g yellow split peas
1 cup 7 oz / 200g red split lentils (masoor dal)
7 cups / 1.6 liters water
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons butter or ghee
8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
1/3 cup / 1.5 oz / 45g golden raisins
1/3 / 80 ml cup tomato paste
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
one small handful cilantro, chopped

cooked brown rice or farro, for serving (optional)

Give the split peas and lentils a good rinse – until they no longer put off murky water. Place them in an extra-large soup pot, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot and 1/4 of the ginger. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.

In the meantime, in a small dry skillet or saucepan over low heat, toast the curry powder until it is quite fragrant. Be careful though, you don’t want to burn the curry powder, just toast it. Set aside. Place the butter in a pan over medium heat, add half of the green onions, the remaining ginger, and raisins. Saute for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and saute for another minute or two more.

Add the toasted curry powder to the tomato paste mixture, mix well, and then add this to the simmering soup along with the coconut milk and salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so. The texture should thicken up, but you can play around with the consistency if you like by adding more water, a bit at a time, if you like. Or simmer longer for a thicker consistency. The thicker this soup got, the more I liked it.

I’ve been enjoying big ladles of this soup over ~1/2 cup of warm farro – brown rice was good as well. Sprinkle each bowl generously with cilantro and the remaining green onions.

Serves 6.

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3 thoughts on “I love soup.

  1. I am a brother of Jody. Your aticle and the picture were wonderful and I shall cherish them always. They express with love and tenderness that great woman who was my sister and your friend and mentor. Thank you so much!

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