Dear lord it’s COLD. I know, it’s January, it’s supposed to be cold. But listen, last year, we had virtually no winter; one freak October snowstorm and we were done. That was followed up by the mildest, most beautiful spring and then the most blisteringly hot summer in recent memory. In short, it’s been a year-plus straight of some pretty obvious global warming, and I am just not ready for wind that makes your cold-induced tears freeze to your face.
Look, when it’s this cold out, there are only three things you need: Netflix (or other unlimited-entertainment-providing service), fuzzy socks, and this soup.
The reason for the Netflix is obvious. There is no better time to catch up on all the good series that you’ve missed than mid-January. The socks, well, my mum always told me that if your feet and neck were warm, you’d be okay. So I guess I should add scarf to the list. And then there’s this soup.
You’ve never had a lentil soup like this one. It’s surprising. It’s warm and filling, as all lentil soups are, but has an oddly bright edge from the citrus and coconut that makes you ponder resort season (is that even really a thing?). It’s ridiculously aromatic because of the spices, which are reminiscent of the recent Holiday season, but aren’t all in-your-face about it. It is goooood. And it is healthy (ish. ignore the coconut milk). And it will thaw those tears right off your wind-burnt cheeks.
Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen. Serves 4-6.
Use sturdy lentils. I used a combination of green and puy. I made a few changes to the original recipes out of necessity. First, I didn’t have lemongrass (it was too cold to go out and get some), but I’m sure it would be amazing. I increased the citrus juice to make up for it and added the zest. I was also out of onions (what?! I know.), so I used shallot. I chose turmeric over curry (the original gives you a choice, which I did find a little odd, as I personally think the flavors of those two are completely different). The recipe below reflects my changes, but be sure to check out the original over at Sprouted Kitchen!
1 1/2 c sturdy lentils, rinsed
4 c low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 t turmeric
1 T fresh thyme leaves
1 T coconut oil
2 large shallots, diced
2 stalks lemongrass, outer layer removed, lower portion finely minced
1 t sea salt
1/2 t cardamom
1/2 t cinnamon
pinch of red pepper flakes
pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
1 1/4 c coconut milk
Juice from 1 lemon, 1/2 a lime and 1/2 an orange, plus a bit of zest from each
a few handfuls spinach
1 c flake coconut, toasted (optional)
chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
- Add the rinsed lentils, broth, thyme and tumeric or curry powder to a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for ~20 minutes
- Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and saute until browned
- Add the lemongrass(if you have it), salt, cardamom, cinnamon, pinch of red pepper flakes and some fresh ground nutmeg and cook another minute, until fragrant
- Add the shallot mixture to the lentils and stir
- Add the coconut milk and greens and simmer for 5 minutes, until the greens are wilted
- Add the citrus juice and a pinch of the mixed zest
- Salt and pepper to taste and add more citrus if needed
- Serve with toasted coconut and cilantro and serve warm with toasted coconut flakes and cilantro on top