Today was work from home Wednesday (woot! woot!), and I carved out an hour of time to make a new recipe I saw on Facebook earlier this week. Vegan Coconut Lentil Soup from Bon Appetit. And it did not disappoint one bit.
Before I go any further, a note on lentils, as I reminisce and get a bit… Senti-Lentil… tee hee. I don’t know if I’ve ever had lentils before… Maybe they were snuck into something, but I can’t remember ever eating them. I definitely don’t remember cooking them. With that in mind, I spent a solid 15 minutes in the grocery store searching for the darn little legumes. That’s how little I knew about lentils.
Lentils are FUN! After doing a little digging, they are a great source of fiber and iron. Plus, they cook quickly and do not need to be soaked like other types of dried beans. Check out my source and more lentil information HERE.
The recipe ended up being quite straight forward and an easy dish to cook in the background while I got some work done. It started out with me chopping up a large onion and 6 cloves of garlic, cooking those down in a large pot with a blend of coconut oil and EVOO. I was supposed to use fresh minced ginger, but spaced on it in the store. Nevertheless, I used ground ginger along with curry powder, cayenne pepper, and salt to season the dish.
After letting all of those flavors meld together, I added in lentils, shredded coconut, coconut milk, and water. It really started looking like a soup at this point. After 30 minutes on medium heat, I added in a can of diced tomatoes and a bag of frozen spinach. I let it hang out a little longer (enough time to respond to one email.. haha). Check out the full Bon Appetit recipe by Claire Saffitz HERE.
Let’s dish a little on the substitutions I made. I used green or maybe brown lentils instead of red lentils as it took me 15 minutes just to find any lentils, and I was about to lose my mind in the Cub Foods. Apparently, red lentils disintegrate and thicken the soup more than green lentils. But, as Drake says, “YOLO.” See this article from the Kitchn for more info on the difference between lentil varietals.
In a similar vein to the lentils, I subbed sweetened coconut for unsweetened for basically the same reason. If anyone creates an app for finding specific products in grocery stores, let me know. The recipe also said to serve with a dollop of greek yogurt, but dairy-free Jack had to decline…. I totally understand it though. That tang would have been awfully fun.
Overall, totally digging this recipe. Would recommend to a close personal friend. Great as a soup by itself, but would also be awesome served over rice (trying that tonight) and/or with protein add-ons including chicken and tofu. This recipe made enough soup for about six 1.5 cup servings: Perfect for leftovers or feeding the whole crew.
This is exactly what I needed on a cold January day. I will probably freeze a portion or two for future lunches. First experience cooking lentils was positive. AND, now that I have half a bag left, keep up with my instagram stories to see what else I do with lentils. TTYL!