Curried Lentil Soup

Lately I have been trying some new recipes.  My husband loves curry and anything Indian.  I don’t really love it, but I’m trying!  I’ve made a few different Indian dishes, and they’ve been pretty successful.  I find that when I cook something, I have more appreciation for it and usually end up liking it more.  I’m beginning to love the flavors that curry has to offer.

Today, I was experimenting with soup.  I made a split pea soup and this curried lentil soup.  Both turned out fantastic, but this lentil soup really stood out for its unique flavor.  I loved it, and the best part is the drizzle of coconut milk on the top right before serving!  This was a hit, and we’ll definitely be making this again.

I made this with ham stock because I had a big ham bone from Thanksgiving calling my name.  Ham stock is not always readily available, so feel free to substitute chicken stock or even vegetable stock for a vegetarian soup option.

Prep time: 2-3 hours

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb dry lentils
  • 1/2 lb 16 bean soup dry beans
  • 4 cups ham stock (depending on how thick you want it)
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 2 tbsp curry
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can coconut milk

Directions

1. How to make a ham stock:  Use 1 ham hock or ham bone.  Cover with water and let simmer for a few hours.  The meat that is left on the bone should be tender and falling off the bone.  Strain out the meat and bone and let cool.
2.  While cooking the ham stock soak your beans in a bowl of water on the counter.  Simply rinse the beans in some cool water.  Cover with about 1 - 1 1/2 inches of water.  Soak for 1-2 hours or until your ham stock is done.  The longer you soak them, the faster your cooking time will be.
3. Pour the water off the beans and put the beans in a dutch oven or large heavy stock pot.  Pour enough stock over the beans to cover by about 1 inch (4-5 cups).
4.  Allow the beans to cook on medium high heat until slightly soft.  The beans soak up a lot of liquid so add more stock if needed.  Stir in the diced peppers and spices.  Stir and allow to cook until the beans are soft all the way through.  Add the tomato paste and mix to combine.
5. Using an immersion blender puree soup until smooth with just a bit of bite left to it.  I did not puree mine all the way to smooth.  Puree to your own liking.  If you don't have an immersion blender transfer to a blender in batches.  Be careful of the steam when pureeing.
6.  Allow to cook on low for another 10 minutes to let the flavors come together.  Serve with a few tablespoons of coconut milk drizzled over the top of each bowl.
Enjoy!!  This was all that was left for us!!

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