Monday, February 14, 2011

Meatless Monday--Curried Butternut and Red Lentil Soup


I've only recently come around to curry.  Even just a couple of years ago, the only experiences I'd had with curry were with Indian food back in college.  I'd never really had Indian food before college, so when some friends said they were going out for Indian, I was more than willing to give it a shot.  I have to admit, even the smell of the restaurant was overpowering to me.  Something about all that yellow curry just didn't sit well with me.

But in the past couple of years, my eyes have been opened to other types of curry.  I didn't even know there were red and green varieties.  I didn't realize the curries in Thai cooking are often mellowed with coconut milk.  (Doesn't coconut milk make everything taste better?)  And I certainly didn't realize that I really, really like red curry!

As I've gotten the flavor of red curry more figured out, I've started  cooking with it.  In this recipe, I used red curry paste in place of yellow Madras curry powder.  I've put the amounts for both curries in the recipe so you can decide for yourself.  But trust me on the soup...it was great!


Curried Butternut and Red Lentil Soup
adapted from Eat, Live, Run

Ingredients:
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
1 TBSP fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (3 lb.) butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 c. red lentils
4 c. vegetable stock
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne (or to taste)
2 TBSP red curry paste (or 2 tsp. yellow curry powder)
thinned yogurt or half and half, for garnish
cilantro to garnish

Directions:
1.  Heat the olive oil in a large saucepot over medium high heat. Once hot, add the onion and saute for about five minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.

2.  Add the ginger and garlic and continue to cook for three more minutes, stirring often. 

3.  Add the squash, diced tomatoes, red lentils, stock, salt, cayenne and curry. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for twenty minutes, until lentil and squash are tender and cooked through.

4.  Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until velvety.  Alternately, carefully transfer hot soup to a blender and process until smooth.   Season with more salt if needed.  To serve, ladle soup into bowls, drizzle with yogurt or cream, and sprinkle with cilantro.  Serves 4-6.

1 comments :

That Girl said...

It is definitely lentil soup season. And Indian food is certainly one of my favorites. I've even worked it in to our lunch menu this week.