This soup is a double-tried-and-true winner! It’s earthy from the lentils, just-barely-spicy from the curry, and creamy from the coconut milk. It’s vegetarian, and could easily be vegan if you use olive oil or coconut oil instead of the butter.
I found myself fiddling a bit with the acidity and sugar levels in the original recipe, feeling like it was missing a little something. The second time around, it turns out I had run out of tomato paste, so used the same amount of ketchup instead — sounds a touch gross, I know, but bear with me — and the flavour balance was just perfect! It really hits the bright acidity and teeeeeeny bit of sweetness you need just for balance. But you can always use tomato paste instead and adjust with lemon juice and sugar to your own liking.
Adapted from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day —One Tough Cookie
red split lentils
butter/ghee/coconut oil/olive oil
small onion, diced
2 + 1 tablespoons
freshly grated ginger
1/4 c + 2t
ketchup (or an 80 ml can of tomato paste, with lemon juice and sugar added to taste)
can of coconut milk (low-fat or regular)
for garnish: sliced green onions, or toasted large-flake coconut, or chopped cilantro
Give the lentils a good rinse, until the water they’re rinsed in stops being murky. Set aside.
In the largest pot you’ve got, heat the butter/ghee/oil on medium-high heat, then add the onions. Allow them to cook until softened, about five minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add 2 Tbs curry powder (reserving the last tablespoon), stirring until toasted and fragrant (about 1 minute).
Carefully pour in the water. Add carrot, ginger, ketchup (or tomato paste plus some lemon juice and a touch of sugar), coconut milk, and salt. Add the lentils. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for about 18 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.
Add the remaining tablespoon of curry powder. Taste and add any salt, pepper, or extra lemon juice to your taste.
Serve with whichever of the garnishes your little heart desires; or heck, with all three!