Thursday, April 25, 2013

Coconut Curry Red Lentil Soup with Ham

This recipe came out of desperation on a day when I hadn't planned ahead.  I had a carton of coconut-curry broth, ham, potatoes, carrots, baby corn and 7 ounces of red lentils. And did I mention I was in the mood for soup? All in all this recipe was deliciously satisfying.

Serves 4
1 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil
1" inch piece of ginger root minced
2 - 3 cloves of garlic minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Thai roasted red chili paste - to taste
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal

1 very leafy stalk of celery chopped, including leaves
1 large russet potato, 1/4" dice
1 8oz slice of ham, cubed
5-6 baby corns, cut in thirds
7oz of red lentils
1 - 32oz carton of coconut-curry broth*

In a deep pan heat up the oil over medium heat and add ginger root and garlic. Stir for 30 seconds, to keep garlic from burning and the add onion, celery and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add bell pepper and carrots. Stir and cook for 3 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients except for broth, cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in the broth, bring it to a boil and drop heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, check that the lentils have softened and add remaining salt (3/4 teaspoon). Cover and cook an additional 20 minutes.

Delicious served over Basmati brown rice, a dollop of yogurt and sprinkled with scallions cut on the diagonal. ENJOY!

*Recipe Notes:
I found a coconut curry broth in the soup section of my local super market.  It has no MSG and seems relatively free of additives.  You could probably make your own by using coconut milk or water, curry and chicken broth.  I may try to duplicate it at home and if I am successful, I will update this post.
This recipe is easily converted to a vegetarian dish by omitting the ham.

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