Soups and dal have been a primary staple in my diet lately, especially with the way the weather has been. Heating, nourishing, and balancing for the season. I’ve been gracing the bulk bins every week or so now loading up on yellow split peas (dal) and red lentils to make Ayurvedic dishes such as kitcharee, soups, and dals. They’re so easy to cook with! Beet dal, for instance, has been my favorite. You just boil beets and dal in a saucepan, add ghee and some spices, and tada! It’s magically delicious, quick, and super healthy. I happened to come across Heidi‘s recipe a few weeks ago for a Coconut Red Lentil Soup and since it’s based on an Ayurvedic recipe from the Esalen cookbook, I couldn’t resist. It sounded pretty awesome–ghee, golden raisins, ginger, green onions, coconut milk, tomato paste, cilantro. The minced ginger was nice to bite into every so often, as were the sweet plump raisins. My only issues were I don’t think I rinsed/soaked the dal long enough because the texture was a tad gritty. And for some reason I’ve left the green onion fan club recently. I used to hate them growing up for years, loved them for the past two or so, and recently I’ve realized it’s a trigger for my headaches, mainly when they’re raw. Makes sense. So I didn’t really dig em on top, but incorporated in the soup it was okay. Perhaps next time I would just substitute them with a whole truckload of cilantro because cilantro has been my best friend lately. Anyway, this was great with some brown rice on the side or mixed in! Try it out! This is a great soup for pretty much anyone.
1 cup yellow split peas
1 cup red split lentils
7 cups water
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons ghee (can use oil to make vegan)
8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
one small handful cilantro, chopped
cooked brown rice or farro, for serving (optional)
1. Give the split peas and lentils a good rinse – until they no longer put off murky water. Place them in an extra-large soup pot, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot and 1/4 of the ginger. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.
2. In the meantime, in a small dry skillet or saucepan over low heat, toast the curry powder until it is quite fragrant. Be careful though, you don’t want to burn the curry powder, just toast it. Set aside. Place the butter in a pan over medium heat, add half of the green onions, the remaining ginger, and raisins. Saute for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and saute for another minute or two more.
3. Add the toasted curry powder to the tomato paste mixture, mix well, and then add this to the simmering soup along with the coconut milk and salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so. The texture should thicken up, but you can play around with the consistency if you like by adding more water, a bit at a time, if you like. Or simmer longer for a thicker consistency.