Curried Lentil & Coconut soup

Curried Lentil & Coconut Soup

This is an Ottolenghi recipe that I found at The Guardian. My recipe actually is double his so it'll make about 4 or 5 quarts. I also I added optional fish and coconut rice to make it into a heartier meal. I don't think I've ever frozen soup with fish in it, so if you do plan to freeze some, I would take it out before you add the fish.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons good curry powder (I used a Madras Curry powder from myspicesage.com - see pic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 inch piece (50 grams) of fresh ginger, peeled and finely diced 
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 1/2 cups (11 oz) red lentils, rinsed
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • 28 oz coconut milk
  • 50 grams cilantro stems, rinsed and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (I have to admit that I have never put cilantro stems in anything before but it gave the soup nice flavor so definitely use them. I had 1 smallish bunch and I used all the stem part and even had to add some of the stem with leaves) + some plucked leaves for garnish
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 pounds cod cut into 1" cubes (optional)
  • lime wedges for serving (optional)
  • Basmati rice cooked according to the package instructions. I sometimes make a coconut rice by substituting 1/2 the water with coconut milk. It gives the rice a nice coconutty flavor. (optional)

Method:
Heat the coconut oil on medium in an 8 quart pot. Add the onions and sautee until lightly browned and translucent (about 10 minutes).

Add the curry, chili flakes, salt, garlic and ginger, cook for another 2 or 3 minutes stirring continuously. Then add in lentils and continue to cook and (stir) for another minute or 2.

Add in the tomatoes, coconut milk, cilantro stems and 5 cups of water and stir to combine. Bring to a boil then turn the heat to low and simmer until lentils are soft (about 25-30 minutes). Make sure to stir every 5 minutes because the lentils can sink to the bottom and burn.   

Taste the soup and add pepper (and salt) to taste.

If using the cod, add to the pot and turn up the heat to return the soup to a boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat and simmer until the fish starts to flake apart (about 5-10 minutes).

Serve in bowls with a scoop of coconut rice, cilantro and lime wedges on the side.