Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Curried Lentil Soup with Spinach

For quilt guild today I made a curried lentil soup I've made many times for my family. It seems when you are cooking for other people, things never taste as good as they do when you're just playing in your kitchen or cooking for your family. Anyway, here's what to do...
Gather ingredients...chop everything up.
Don't throw away the end of the celery. It's the healthiest part...it's been closest to the soil. Wash it up well and cut off the 'dirty' part at the bottom, but keep it connected. Throw that in the soup for flavor and then throw away before you serve the soup.
This is a photo of the kind of curry I use. I get this and the coconut milk at the oriental food store. The flavors are intense and work better than curry powder although you can substitute that if that's all you have.
Use a good quality coconut milk. The kind sold in the grocery stores are often watered down. This is the brand I use for homemade coconut ice cream too! YUM

Here's the soup. A family favorite.
Curried Lentil Soup with Spinach (Serves 8 - 10)
2 T. Olive Oil
2 c. Onion, chopped
1 c. Celery, chopped
1 c. Carrots, chopped
1 c. green or red pepper, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 T. curry powder (I use Mae Ploy Paste)
1 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. cayenne, optional
1 T. fresh minced ginger
1 lb. lentils (about 2 1/2 c. cleaned and picked over)
8 c. water, chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 can 15 oz. coconut milk, shake well (use Mae Ploy)
1 t. salt, optional (I don't use it)
1 bunch Spinach, chopped
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, red pepper, garlic, ginger and the spices and saute until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the water or stock along with the salt, lentils and coconut milk, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are cooked through about 10 minutes. (I threw the entire thing in a crock pot and came back a few hours later and finished it.) While the soup is simmering, wash and prep the spinach and chop the cilantro. After the lentils have finished cooking, stir the spinach and cilantro into the soup--it will look like a lot of spinach--don't worry it will wilt and cook down. Taste and adjust any seasoning and serve. Can sprinkle with cheese and a lime wedge. Also, to create a complete protein, I serve it with a little brown rice on the bottom of the bowl.


  1. Thanks for the recipe Judi. It sounds great and just my flavours so will be giving it a try.
    I love Mae Ploy pastes-it's a small world when you see the same products used in different counties.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Soooo good. Thank you Judi for feeding us!