Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekend Cooking: Coconut Lentil Soup with Lemongrass

Here's a recipe I've been playing around with for awhile. The inspiration was in Anne Sheasby's wonderful The Ultimate Soup Bible. My family liked her original recipe, but we all agreed it didn't have enough "punch," somehow. Here is our version. The great thing about this recipe is that it goes from 0 to dinner in under an hour. In our house, it cooks while the homework is getting done!

Col’s Coconut Lentil Soup with Lemongrass

2 medium Yellow Onions, chopped
2 tbsp Canola Oil
1 Serrano Pepper or 2 Thai Chili Peppers, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp Ginger, freshly grated
3 Garlic Cloves, sliced
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Ground Coriander Seed
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 cup Red Lentils*
14 oz can of Coconut Milk (regular, not light)
4 cups Vegetable Stock (homemade if possible; water will also work)
1 stick Lemongrass, bruised with a mallet (kids love this job)
3 tblsp Fresh Lime Juice (about 3 lime halves)
4 tblsp Scallions, chopped
1/4 cup Cilantro Leaves, chopped (if you hate cilantro, Thai basil would work)
Salt, to taste


Heat oil in dutch oven. Add onions, peppers, ginger and garlic to soften, not brown. Add dried spices to warm (1 minute), then add lentils. Add coconut milk, lemongrass and stock. Bring to a boil and cook about 45 minutes, until lentils totally break down. Remove lemongrass. Puree with a stick blender. Put back on heat, add lime juice, half scallions and half cilantro. Adjust seasonings. Salt to taste. Garnish individual bowls with remaining cilantro, scallions and lime slices.

*Red lentils are found in Indian and Middle Eastern groceries, and in well stocked supermarkets. You can't substitute brown lentils in this recipe, as they take far longer to cook.

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  1. I'm not a fan of coconut, so I'm not sure this would be for me. Carl, on the other hand, would probably love it.

  2. Coconut is either a love-it or hate-it ingredient, I agree. We are in the "love" column, especially for savory dishes. But I know there are some people I just can't make this for!

  3. I posted a lentil soup recipe this week, too! I love coconut ... will be giving this a try, too. Thanks!

  4. I am loving these lentil soup recipes. We love coconut, so this looks like a great one to try. And we, too, like a bit of punch, so I'm glad you did the experimenting for me.

  5. Oh, this sounds great. There are a few things that need translation or hard to get, but I'm good at finding substitutes.

    Now, it's likely that only 50% of my family would eat this, so can you tell me if this keeps? One/two days in the fridge?

  6. JoAnn and Beth -- February is the perfect time for hearty soups, isn't it? I'm always glad to find a new way to use lentils too!

    Leeswammes -- it keeps very well, but thickens up considerably. I have warmed it up and put it over rice for lunch a day or two later. Or you can thin it out with water or broth, and it's soup again. I think it tastes even better the next day.

  7. I had lentil soup this morning. I was volunteering at a running race and one of the sponsors made Mullgtwany soup. I will be trying your recipe. Thanks.

  8. OMG that sounds wonderful! I love coconut curry so bring it on!

  9. I love coconut so this is a definite "try it out" recipe hopfully before Winter is officially over in the South :)

  10. Heather and Marie -- I'd love any feedback if you try it -- it is kind of a curry in soup form!

    Peppermint PhD -- We have plenty of soup weather left here, I'm afraid! But this is pretty light, so I think it would work into one of those lovely early spring days in the South.

  11. Oh, my - this is perfect for me! The recipe just sounds heavenly when I read it out loud... I must make it this weekend :)

  12. I'd love your feedback, CaaBC! It's become a fave around here!

  13. I love coconut in my soup - I need to make this!

  14. sounds delicious! It reminds me of many of the dishes I had in Thailand with the lemongrass and coconut.


I absolutely love comments. Thanks for taking the time to share! Col