Fall is here and this soup has the color and flavor of October, perfect for cooler weather. Make it ahead, it is even better after standing overnight. It will, however, thicken. Thin it as needed with additonal water and check the seasonings to see if you need to add more.
The crunchy topping is a perfect contrast to the creamy soup.
Curried Red Lentil Soup
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 (1″) piece of fresh ginger, grated
- 6 cloves of garlic, smashed, peeled and diced
- 1 russet potato, peeled and diced
- 3 cups of stemmed and torn kale leaves
- 5 tablespoons of curry powder (mine was mild, you may want to use less if your own is spicy)
- 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons of gochugaru (or none if your curry powder is hot)
- 1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 2 cups of red lentils, rinsed and examined for small stones
- 1 14.5 oz can of coconut milk (I used full fat)
Spiced cashew topping:
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 3/4 cup of cashews
- 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
For serving: fresh mint leaves, fresh thyme leaves and lemon zest
- In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened. Add the carrots, potato, kale, curry powder, salt, gochugaru (if using), and pepper. Cook stirring until the kale wilts.
- Add 6 cups of water, lentils, and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are creamy and the potato is tender…about 30 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender to partially puree the soup, leaving some small chunks for texture. Or cool and puree part of the soup in a regular blender. Make sure the soup is cool or you will have an volcano of hot soup spouting out the top. (It has happened to me and is not a pleasant clean up not to mention a potential scalding.)
- To serve, top with the spiced cashews, torn mint leaves, thyme and grated lemon zest.
- In a medium skillet over medium low heat, heat the oil. Add the cashews and pepitas,stirring, until golden. Add the sesame seeds, sugar, coriander, cumin seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes more.
This soup can thicken on standing, if needed add more water to thin. Check the seasoning before serving to see if you need to add more salt or spices.
Any extra topping is delicous used with other soups, roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash…even on a salad.