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There is just something about a creamy soup made with coconut milk. I find it warm, nourishing, and very satisfying. One of my favorite soups is my Thai chicken coconut soup, but I wanted to try making something with coconut milk and lentils. For some reason, the combination just seemed inviting. Lentils are a great source of protein and fiber. They are also higher in the B vitamins and folate than other vitamins. They come in a wide variety of colors, from white to green to red to black. They are cheap and keep a very long time, so you can buy in bulk and stock up. I store mine in a glass jar with a tight sealing lid.
While most of the time, you will read that you don't need to soak them, I still always do. They are still a legume and soaking them helps break down the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Soaking also makes them easier to digest, makes their nutrients more easily assimilated, and less likely to cause gastric discomfort.
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Creamy Coconut Lentil Soup
- 1 quart chicken stock (homemade if possible)
- 1 can coconut milk or coconut cream (I love Aroy-D brand for both)
- 1 1/2 cups lentils, soaked
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 1 organic yellow pepper, chopped
- 1 organic orange pepper, chopped
- 1 organic red pepper, chopped
- 4 cups diced tomatoes
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tbsp. garlic crushed
- 1-3 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
- 1/2 tsp. – 1 tbsp. crushed red chili flakes
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
After soaking the lentils, pour off the water and rinse well. In a large pot, add the lentils and cover with about 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the pot and skim off any grey foam that rises to the top. After the time is up, remove from the heat, pour off the water and rinse again.
In the large pot with the rinsed lentils, add all the chicken stock, coconut milk, coconut oil, onion, and spices to the lentils and bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to low and let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Check for seasoning and add the peppers and tomatoes. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Check the lentils for tenderness. They will still be firm. Cover and let the soup continue to cook over very low heat. It usually takes about 3 hours for me, but I am also a mile above sea level, so that makes a big difference. Once the lentils are tender, remove from heat and stir in 3/4 of the bunch of chopped cilantro and lemon juice. Save the rest of the cilantro for serving.
Another method to cook this soup is in the crock pot. Follow the step for cooking the lentils the initial 30 minutes, skimming off the foam, and rinsing again. Then, once that is done, place all of the ingredients in your crock pot and cook on low for 4-8 hours or until the lentils are tender. The amount of time will depend on your crock pot and altitude.
P.S. Did you know that soups and stews are an EXCELLENT source of gelatin if you use homemade stock? Sometimes, I even add a tablespoon or so of gelatin into my bowl of soup for added nutrition. If you want to learn more about gelatin and its benefits for our health, I highly recommend this book, The Gelatin Secret: The Surprising Superfood That Transforms Your Health and Beauty, from my affiliate partner, Sylvie McCracken. This book is packed with incredible information on how gelatin helps all aspects of our health and also features delicious recipes!