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Well, I’m sick. It never fails, every year I deal with minor seasonal allergies on and off throughout the fall and then boom, Thanksgiving gets here and I get bronchitis or pneumonia or the plague (or whatever). Hopefully this year it won’t be that bad. Usually in the past I’ve been travelling for Thanksgiving, or I was busy with school, or both, so I always blamed my annual illness on stress. This year I’m not in school or travelling, so I’m really hoping it doesn’t get any worse. So far, I’m not so sick that I can’t function, but I’m still sick enough that all I really want in life is a big bowl of soup and my mommy.

Luckily, two nights ago I made a really great Lentil Curry Soup, which turned out to be even better this afternoon when I reheated it. I think my body predicted this illness and so it encouraged my brain to make a huge batch of soup ahead of time. That’s totally plausible, right?

Lentil Curry Soup

Speaking of my mommy, this recipe came from her. Sort of. She found it in the newspaper, and improved it by adding extra vegetables. I really liked her version, but curry is like a serious narcotic for me. I tried just a little bit the first couple of times, but now every time I have it I need a bigger dose. Thus the 1/2 teaspoon her recipe called for was just not going to cut it. So this soup went from lentil soup to lentil curry soup. I basically took her recipe and added about 50% more ingredients. Oops. Still, even with the added parts it’s pretty easy to make.

Lentil Curry Soup

Serves: A lot. 8 or so.  Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups Lite Coconut Milk
  • 3 Cups Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Red Curry Paste
  • 2 Teaspoons Sesame Oil
  • 3/4 Cup Lentils (I used Green)
  • 1 Cup Matchstick Carrots (or diced carrot pieces)
  • 2 Stalks Celery, Diced
  • 1 Small Onion, Diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Cup Diced Green Pepper
  • 1 Small Sweet Potato (about 2 Cups, Diced)
  • 2 Cups Chopped Kale
  • 2 1/4 Cups Tomato Sauce**
  • 2 Teaspoons Curry Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Coriander
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  1. In a large soup pot, heat oil on medium-high.
  2. Add curry paste. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until it is warmed and “melted”.
  3. Add the coconut milk, mix thoroughly with the curry paste, until blended.
  4. Add broth, onions, carrots, celery, lentils and garlic. Stir well. Bring to boil.
  5. Cover the pot and simmer until lentils are cooked, about 30 minutes.
  6. Add tomato sauce, sweet potato, kale, green pepper, and spices. Recover, simmer until potato is soft, about 20 minutes. If soup is too dense, add water or broth as needed.
  7. Stir intermittently. When sweet potato is done, turn off heat, but let it sit in the pot for a couple minutes just to let it rest, cool, mellow, etc.

**I make my own “tomato sauce” using 1 large can of Muir Glen Whole Tomatoes with Basil, which I simply put in the blender to liquify for maybe 1 minute. I haven’t done a taste test between this and regular canned tomato sauce, but I like to think my way makes it seems fresher and more tomato-y.

I love this soup. It is very flavorful, spicy but a little bit sweet and still savory. The extra curry adds a lot. I’m not always wild about lentils but here, the other flavors like tomato and sweet potato balance out the lentils’ dull bitterness. And, it is really hearty. The tomato sauce and lite coconut milk give it a creamy denseness that is very satisfying. It seems more like a meal than if it was just stock or water-based. But at the same time there is enough broth that it doesn’t just taste like you forgot the rice with your Indian curry dish. It’s still soup.

It’s also awesome because all of the ingredients are clean, nutrient-dense plant-based items, which makes it super healthy in addition to being super delicious. Like I said, I had more of it this afternoon, and I think it was even better on the reheat. There was so much in the batch, I think it is perfect for weeks where the weather forecast and your work schedule are both pretty dismal, because you can make this at the beginning of the week and use it to warm yourself up for several days.

But right now, my favorite thing about it is that it is an extremely healthy comfort food, the perfect sick day soup to warm my sore throat and bad mood.

-lj

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