Saturday, June 18, 2011

Curry, Red Lentils, Chickpea and Kale Soup!

This recipe was inspired by one of the same titled which appeared on the NPR (National Public Radio) website back on March 16, 2011. As I don't follow recipes well, what appears below is my version of it which was pretty damn good, even if, I do say so myself!

Curry, Red Lentils, Chickpea & Kale Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 small russet potatoes, unpeeled and diced
5 generous fronds of green kale, washed, trimmed and finely chopped (about 2 packed cups)
1 cup red lentils
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, with syrup
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
2 teaspoons oriental curry powder (I used La Flor brand)
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cummin
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

For Garnish

1 fresh lemon to zest

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add onion, carrots, potato, and celery. Saute until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add kale and boil for 2 minutes, then drain. (This will make it more tender). Add drained kale, lentils, chickpeas and broth to the carrot mixture; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 12 to 15 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Let soup cool before pureeing. Pour half of the lentil mixture into a blender and puree. Pour pureed lentil mixture into a bowl, and repeat process with the remaining soup. Once the soup is blended, return to the pan. Add coconut milk, spices, and ginger. Stir well. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated through. Remove from heat. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with freshly zested lemon peel.

The original recipe called for tossing in some salt here and there and salting again to taste at the very end. I omitted this because frankly I found no need for any additional salt beyond what little bit would entered the soup via the drained, blanched kale.

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