Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Curried Lentil Soup In The Kitchen

I recently discovered this Indian dish while scavenging my kitchen cupboards-the day before my next grocery shop- for the ingredients to put together a whole meal and I was pleasantly pleased with the outcome. This is incredibly easy to make, has tons of flavor and is also extremely good for you because it's packed with fiber-what more could a gal ask for? Curry isn't everyone's cup of tea but I can't get enough of it so if your anything like me you should give this a try. And for all you skeptics, my fella isn't a fan of curry either but even he will wolf this down before I can blink. I'm guessing that means it's not too overwhelming of a curry taste. Let's have a look at how the magic happens.

The day before I do my food shop my cupboards are a baron wasteland but I had all these things on hand even then, so this is a great "in a pinch" recipe for those hectic days. It's all really simple things most people find in their pantries; a can of lentils, salt, bay leaves, curry, some chili oil and flakes, red onion and garlic. Pretty straight forward overall.

Not only is it easily accessible but it's super fast to make as well. A quick saute of onion and garlic in the chili oil (or olive oil if you prefer) and then just mixing the other ingredients on top to simmer.

If I want the soup to go a little further or bring down the curry flavor a notch, I'll mix in some vegetable broth which still tastes great but works wonders for adjustments in amount and taste.

Being a vegetarian I stick to all vegetable related broths but if you wanted to make this even heartier, you could add some chicken to this when you saute and use a chicken broth rather than vegetable for extra flavor. I'm sure it would taste fabulous too but it really doesn't need it and keeping it vegetarian is also budget friendly.

Bay leaves are the last piece of this tasty puzzle. By now your house should be smelling delectable and you should be feeling a mild rumbling in your tummy. Don't panic, that's just your stomach to preparing itself for what's to come. Follow your stomach, it always knows best!

Toasted naan bread is the perfect companion for this Indian dish. Last instructions are as follows: dip.... bite.... repeat 'til stuffed.

1 can Lentils drained
1-2 cans Curry Paste (or powder mixed with broth)
1/2 Red Onion diced
2-4 Cloves Garlic minced
1 tbsp Chili Oil (or Olive oil based on spicy preference)
2 tsp Chili Flakes (optional)
1 1/2 tsp Bay Leaves
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Vegetable Broth (optional)
Naan bread (optional)

In a medium skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Saute garlic and onion until fragrant and softened-about 3-5 minutes.
Add lentils, curry paste, chili flakes and broth if using it. Stir thoroughly then sprinkle salt and bay leaves. Let simmer for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and serve hot with a piece of toasted naan bread. A dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt works wonders as a garnish for this dish too.

Ahh.... now that your stomach has been deliciously appeased, it's back to the 'ole grind for you and your furry friends...


Amber said...

It makes my mouth water! Chicka can you do me a favor and take a picture of the curry can and email it to me? I've been having a really hard time finding exactly what the curry sauce/paste is, I've only ever bought powder and want to try the canned stuff. That'd be fabulous! I love that kitty is nested beside her papa, very adorable.

ilovemyhouse said...

Hi i just made and ate the soup. All this time i had canned lentils in my cupboard an did not know what to do with it.I saw this and had to make it. It was delicious!Thanks for sharing.xx

recklessbliss said...

I'm so glad you liked it! I love it when healthy food still tastes soooo good. Thanks for the kind words!

Paris Pastry said...

Curry AND lentil soup?! Double yum! I bet the naan bread was the perfect accompaniment. I love your blog, btw! Thanks for visiting mine!

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Thanks for sharing!