Now before I tell you about this soup, let me tell you about my daughter. She is a typical youngest child, in that parents typically get themselves spayed or neutered after having a child like this. Ha-ha! She’s actually adorable! But she’s the pickiest eater ever! Pickier than even D.W. (Arthur’s sister from the Picky Eater story) (and if you don’t know who that is – lucky you!
The healthier the meal, the least likely it is that my daughter would eat it. Except one thing! She loves her mama’s coconut lentil soup. Seriously, she gobbles it like it’s ice cream or eggos with maple syrup (the breakfast she has been eating every day for 2 months in a row). So yeah, despite her being the pickiest eater in our family (or maybe even the world?!), she LOVES this lentil soup. And that means a lot!
For best results, note that the soup improves with time, so make sure you make it the day before.
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1/2 large sweet onion (I used Vidalia) finely chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 ½ tsp. turmeric
2 large garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp. ground cardamom
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
A pinch of nutmeg
5 cups vegetable broth, preferably home-made (feel free to substitute with chicken stock if non-vegetarian)
1 ½ cups French green lentils, picked over for stones and other debris
1 cups coconut milk
salt and black pepper, to taste
In a Creuset or medium-to-large pot, warm 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and saute the onion until it is translucent. Add the thyme, and turmeric. Then, cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is lightly browned and very soft.
Reduce the heat to low. Add the garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper, and warm them for a minute or two.
Add the vegetable stock and the lentils, and then simmer until the lentils are soft and tender (this process takes at least 30 min, though it usually takes me about an hour).
Add the coconut milk, and stir well. Continue to simmer an additional 20-30 minutes so the flavors can blend.
Taste, and adjust the salt if necessary. Serve warm, preferably the next day as this dish definitely improves with time.
Makes: 4-6 servings