First Soup of Fall: Red Lentil Soup with Coriander and Lime
I’ve found soup making to be a wonderfully mind-clearing experience. All of the chopping and measuring and heating and tasting requires my attention and presence, which means that my mind doesn’t leave my kitchen for 30 minutes, and then I get to have soup. Trust your instincts on this one. Do you think that’s too many carrots? Use fewer. Not enough spices? Use more. Out of quinoa? Use another half cup of red lentils. You cannot mess up this soup – I’ve tried. I like to stir in a handful of spinach, broccoli, or okra to make the soup a meal, but it’s great on its own as a starter or side.
1 c red lentils
1/2 c quinoa
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil (or coconut, grapeseed, or vegetable oil)
1.5-2 inch hunk of ginger
big pinch cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 can light coconut milk (use regular coconut milk if you like a richer, heartier soup)
2 c hot water (more as needed) or vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse red lentils and quinoa, and soak in a few cups of room-temp water (this can be done overnight or a few hours before if you wish). Roughly dice onion and carrots, keep separate. Heat at least one tablespoon oil in big soup pot over med-high heat; add onion, and sauté about 4 minutes or until onion becomes translucent. While the onion cooks, grate ginger and zest one lime. Add the ginger to the onions. Once fragrant (about 30 seconds), add cayenne, coriander, cumin, and zest of one lime, more oil if needed, and carrots. Cook over med-low heat for another 3-5 min to soften carrots slightly.
Add hot water and coconut milk to pot and raise heat. Once soft boil appears, add drained lentils and quinoa. Wait for water to boil again, then reduce heat to a simmer for 15-25 minutes (check around 15 minutes to see if more water is needed), or until quinoa tails have released and lentils have nearly dissolved. Turn off heat, add juice of one lime, and blend soup to desired consistency using immersion blender (or wait to cool and blend in batches in a regular blender). Add salt, pepper and additional lime juice to taste.