Low in calories and high in soluble & insoluble fiber, lentils are a good source of protein as well as a good substitute for meat. They are filled with folate, iron, and other important nutrients. They require no pre-soaking and cook in about 20-30 minutes. The recipe below is delicious and freezes very well. I always make a large batch and pack 1-cup servings in small plastic containers to freeze and reheat for quick and healthy lunches on busy days. I prefer to use the easily available and inexpensive Brown Lentils as they hold their shape well, but I think you can substitute red ones if thats what you have on hand.
Brown Lentil Coconut Soup
(Makes about 8 1-cup servings)
- 2 cups lentils
- 6 cups water
- 2 tsp oil
- 2 medium onions (about 1 heaped cup) – chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes – pureed (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 4 garlic cloves – grated
- 2 Tbsp ginger paste (about 1 1/2 inch)
- 1 tsp cayenne / red chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
- 2 cups frozen / fresh kale or spinach
- salt to taste
- lemon juice
- sour cream (optional)
1) Pick through the lentils and make sure there is no dirt or stones. Rinse and drain well.
2) In a large pan, add lentils and water and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce to low flame and cook covered about 20 minutes till tender, stirring mid-way.
3) In another pan, heat the oil and add onions. Saute till transparent.
4) Add ginger and garlic and saute till fragrant.
5) Add the spices and roast for a few seconds.
6) Mix in the tomato puree and heat, scraping the bottom.
7) When lentils are ready, mix with the onion-tomato mixture.
8) Add coconut milk and salt, and simmer on low about 10-15 minutes.
9) Add the kale/spinach and simmer an additional 5 minutes till it is wilted.
10) Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dollop of sour cream.