Thai Red Lentil Soup
A vegetarian lentil soup is one of my most favorite and comforting meals. It was particularly chilly and windy today – much more than it should be for spring – so I decided to put some of my favorite warming spices and healthy ingredients together to create this soup for lunch.
It seems like I’ve been making soups for so long that I no longer use recipes. I love the creative process of just throwing a bunch of wonderful ingredients in a pot and tasting and tweaking until it’s just right. I used to make this soup for our juice bar/sandwich shop and our customers would rave about it. I think that’s when I fell in love with making delicious food that nourishes the body and soul. This soup certainly does both.
Using the convenience of a store bought red curry paste makes this soup so easy to make. I always keep a little jar of Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste in the frig and use it to make soups and curries. I got a late start today so I cooked this soup in the pressure cooker in just 3 minutes, but it can be made on the stove top in no time too, since those cute little red lentils cook so quickly.
Even the kids enjoy this soup, which is always a bonus. It can be left chunky or pureed. My daughter hates sweet potatoes so I puree this vegetarian lentil soup for her, and leave it chunky for the rest of us. Funny thing is, when she can’t SEE the sweet potatoes, she suddenly doesn’t mind them at all. Kids!
- 1 medium onion, diced small
- 1 T chopped garlic
- 1 T minced fresh ginger
- 1 large sweet potato, diced small
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked over for small rocks
- 1 quart low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 - 1½ T red curry paste (I like Thai Kitchen brand)
- 1 T tamari
- ¾ t salt, or to taste
- 1 can light coconut milk
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- lime wedges and hot sauce to taste
- Heat a soup pot over medium high heat and saute onions, ginger and garlic using a bit of water or vegetable broth to keep them from sticking. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the lentils, sweet potato, vegetable broth, curry paste and tamari. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, covered, until the potatoes and lentils are soft. Red lentils tend to fall apart as they cook.
- Add in the coconut milk, salt and cilantro and cook on low for a couple more minutes. Taste for seasonings and adjust to your liking. If you add more curry paste, mix it with a little hot soup in a small bowl before adding it to the pot to make sure it blends in well.
You can play with the liquid amounts in this luscious soup to make it as thick or thin as you like. If you leave it thicker it can be served more like a dal over some steamy brown rice – it’s really great that way too! Squeeze a little lime juice over the top and add some hot sauce if you like it spicy. Some fresh cilantro is a great addition too.
Add this belly warming vegetarian lentil soup to your meal rotation during the fall, winter and spring. Double or triple the recipe and you’ll have a great, quick lunch ready when you are short on time. This tasty Thai red lentil soup is filling, nutritious and sooooo delicious that you’ll want to lick the bowl!