What feels like forever ago, my German fare-loving friend, The Lady in Red, mentioned a coconut red lentil soup she frequently makes. And I’ve wanted to make my own version ever since. But then my talented friend Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! did a post where he deconstructed a couple of dishes I made, one of them being my red lentil soup…he added curry, which I thought was a genius touch. And of course since I saw that, I’ve wanted to make a curried red lentil soup. In the end I decided to combine the two ideas into this delicious dish.
I also had a few leaves of kale and half a sweet potato leftover in the fridge so into the pot they went (getting to use up whatever you have on hand has to be my favorite thing about making soup!). Once the soup was made, I went to my pantry in search for inspiration for the perfect garnish…right there, front and center, was a can of honey roasted peanuts looking up at me. It was fate.
(Yield: 3-4 servings)
1 TB olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
1 bay leaf
4 c vegetable stock
1 c (6 1/2 oz) red lentils
1/2 medium-sized sweet potato, peeled and cubed (about 8 oz or 1 c cubed)
2 large leaves kale, washed, stem removed, and chopped (about 2-3 oz or 3-4 c chopped)
1 c coconut milk (I used homemade, but canned is fine)
2 TB lemon or lime juice
Salt and pepper
2 TB honey roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped (for garnish)
Add oil to a medium saucepan with a lid over medium heat; when oil is hot, add onion and sauté until slightly softened (about 5 minutes), then add garlic and ginger and sauté another minute. Add cumin, curry powder, crushed red pepper flakes, and bay leaf and sauté until everything is fragrant (about 30 seconds).
Add stock, lentils, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper, then turn heat up to high and bring to a boil. Add sweet potato, cover pot, turn heat down to low, and simmer 10 minutes (stirring occasionally). Add kale and coconut milk, cover pot, and cook another 10 minutes or until veggies are tender, stirring occasionally.
Add lemon or lime juice, then taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve with a sprinkle of honey roasted peanuts on top if desired.