The Healthful Kitchen

Curried Lentil Soup With Cilantro

Have your blender at hand as you prepare this assortment of ingredients with the choice of your favorite curry powder for an aromatically delicious blend of flavors certain to delight the palates of your most discerning guests. The bold Indian flavors, mixed with the curry powder, coconut milk and fresh cilantro provide the makings of an especially delightful soup. This time of year is a perfect season for a zesty hot curried flavor to warm the body and fill the household with the scents of aromatic curried flavor, which can only add to the enjoyment of a wonderful creation.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 piece (about 2 inches) fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1 large shallot, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
2 large carrots, peeled and finely diced (about 1 cup)
1 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 cup dried red lentils, picked over and rinsed
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (reduced fat or regular), divided 5 cups water
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro stems,
3 tablespoons cilantro leaves for garnish

Heat oil in a medium Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped ginger, garlic, shallot and carrots. Sprinkle a dash of the salt over the vegetables and cook until softened, stirring often, about 7 minutes.

Add curry powder and cook, stirring continuously until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rest of the salt, 1/2 cup of the coconut milk, the water and lentils, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils and carrots are tender, about 8 - 10 minutes.

Pass 2 cups of soup through a fine sieve into a bowl to separate the solids from the liquids. Reserve the solids for later and return the stained liquid to the pot of soup.

Let the soup cool slightly, then puree the soup in a blender until smooth. You may need to do this in batches as you do not want to fill the blended jar more than halfway. If necessary, reheat soup after blending, then stir in the reserved solids.

Stir in the remaining cilantro stems. Ladle soup into 4 bowls and swirl in remaining 1/4 cup of coconut milk. (1 tablespoon of coconut milk per bowl). Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Enhance the serving with a side of slightly toasted Naan bread.

Recipe from the collection of Cookies & Kate