Friday, January 23, 2015

Broccoli Lentil Curry Soup


It's the last day of Soup Week... but it's not the last day of soup for me.  I will still need my soup pot on the stove for the rest of winter.  We're expecting snow again this weekend, so I know I will want more soup to warm me up.

Today I decided to make you a Broccoli Lentil Curry Soup.  I was actually just going to make a Broccoli and Cheddar Soup, but at the last minute I decided to go with some lentils because I wanted to add some protein to the dish.  Then the though of lentils and cheese did not sound too appetizing to me so I decided curry was the best way to go. 

Now this soup can be made totally vegetarian (even vegan) if you decide to use vegetable stock.  I used chicken stock because I had that on hand in my pantry.  

This soup is rich and full of flavor.  It would be great over rice.  I ate it with some garlicky Indian flatbread.  The soup not only warmed me up, but it also spiced me up.  So, if you really want to warm your belly... a spicy soup like this is definitely a good choice.

1 cup dried masoor lentils 
3 cups water to cook the lentils
1/2 tsp turmeric for lentils
1-2 Tbs canola oil
1 large onion finely diced
2 carrots peeled and finely diced
3-4 cups broccoli cut into bite size pieces
1-2 green chilies sliced (any kind you like)
2 stalks celery sliced
1 red bell pepper diced (optional)
1tsp grated fresh garlic
2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp curry powder 
red chili powder as needed for spice
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 can (15oz) coconut milk
chicken or vegetable bullion powder as needed 
salt and black pepper to taste

Lime wedges

Indian Flatbread

Step 1: Wash your masoor lentils well with water until the water runs clear. Boil the washed lentils in a large pan with water and turmeric until water cooks out and lentils are very soft and tender (do not add salt while cooking lentils). If you need to add more water to get your lentils fully cooked do so as needed.   Then set cooked lentils aside until later.  

Step 2: In a large soup pot, heat oil and saute all chopped vegetables (onion, carrot, celery, broccoli, peppers) with some salt and black pepper for several minutes.  

Then add ginger and garlic and saute for another minute.  Next add the ground spices (turmeric, red chili powder and curry powder).  Then add the stock of your choice (chicken or vegetable) to the sauteed vegetables and cook for 15 minutes.   Now you have three choices in regards to the texture of your soup.  1.  You can leave all the vegetables and lentils whole for a fully textured soup.  2. You can remove some of the vegetables and cream the lentils and remaining vegetables for a creamed soup with some vegetable remaining whole (my choice). 3. Cream everything in the soup for a fully creamy soup.    If you are going to have a partially creamy soup, remove 2 cups of the vegetables from the soup now and set aside.    Add the cooked lentils to the soup and use an emulsion blender to cream the soup.  Then return the whole pieces back to the soup pot and add the can of coconut milk.  If you decide to keep the vegetables and lentils whole and not cream anything, just add the coconut milk.  If you want to cream the entire soup, use the emulsion blender and cream the entire soup then add the coconut milk.  Simmer the soup for a few more minutes with the coconut milk then taste for seasoning and serve hot.  This can be served just as a soup, over rice or with some bread or flatbread.  Enjoy.

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