Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spiced Lentil & Potato Soup

I have a slight problem with lentils.  No, not lentils themselves, I quite love them and perhaps a bit too much. You see, every time I cook up lentils, I wind up with enough to feed a mid-sized nation.  So I devised this Lentil & Potato Soup last fall, as a way to use up the ignorant amount of cooked lentils I always end up with.  And the new gold potatoes in this week's Crop Share will be the perfect potato to use for this hearty and spicy soup.  Guaranteed to take the evening chill off while we wait for next week's 70 degree temps!

Spiced Lentil & Potato Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
2 tsp garlic, minced
5 medium gold potatoes, diced
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp ground ginger
12 oz tomato paste
2 Tbsp Tandoori Roasting Blend (I used Spice & Tea Exchange’s, or use any tandoori spice blend)
3 cups cooked brown lentils
32 oz low sodium vegetable broth (for vegan) or chicken broth
1 can (13.66 oz) lite coconut milk (cream and water portion)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp parsley, plus more for garnish (dried or fresh, I used dried just fine)
Tofutti sour cream, crème fraîche or  plain Greek yogurt for garnish, optional

Simmer onion, carrot and garlic in a heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes.  Add in potatoes and sauté for 3-5 minutes.  Add in spices, salt through ginger, and stir to fully coat (for less heat, omit crushed red pepper and reduce cayenne to 1/8 tsp).  Stir in tomato paste, tandoori spice and lentils, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.  Add in vegetable or chicken stock and make sure to scrape bottom of pan to loosen anything that has begun to stick.  Stir in coconut milk, lemon juice and parsley.

Bring to a full simmer, cover pot and reduce heat.  Simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes.  Soup should be more of a stew consistency, so check regularly and add or subtract simmering time as needed.

Serve each bowl with a dollop of vegan sour cream, plain Greek yogurt or crème fraîche, and a sprinkle of parsley.

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