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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Red Lentil and Coconut Soup with Black Rice, Tumeric and Greens

Taken from Vegetable Literacy, by Deborah Madison, this is absolutely one of the tastiest lentil dishes I have made in a while. The richness of the coconut milk, the bright acidity of the limes, the creaminess of the lentils and slight chewiness of the black rice make a wonderful combination. And don't leave out the tumeric - besides giving the dish a lovely yellow backdrop, it is SO good for you. If tumeric were human, it would be Superman.

Click here for more on tumeric.

Start to finish, this takes about an hour. No meat required, but the braised chicken I added did make a nice addition.

1 1/4 C red lentils
2 Tbsn ghee or sesame oil (I used sesame oil)
1 large onion, finely diced
1 tspn ground tumeric
1 tspn curry powder
2 tspn ground cumin (I was out of cumin, I added a tspn of coriander - I know, they are not interchangeable)
2 tspn black or yellow mustard seeds
Minced cilantro stems from one bunch of cilantro
1 (15 oz) can light coconut milk
4 C water
Sea salt
Juice of 2-3 limes
Few handfuls of tender greens (spinach, chard) (I used a bunch of chard)
3 to 4 Tbsn coconut butter (I left this out - it tasted too good without it, I saw no reason to add the extra calories on top of the coconut milk.)

To Finish
About 1 cup cooked black rice
Red pepper flakes
Ground black pepper
Yogurt (since I topped the lentils and rice with sliced, braised chicken thighs, I left this out)

Rinse the lentils, cover with cold water, and set aside while you dice the onion and sauté the onion mixture.

Heat the ghee (or oil) in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, stir, and cook gently until it begins to soften, about 6 minutes. Add the spices and cilantro stems. Stir once more, and cook for several minutes longer.

Drain the lentils and add them to the onion mixture. Stir in the coconut milk and add 4 cups water and 2 tspn salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, cover partially, and cook until the lentils have broken down into a purée. Give them a stir every 5 minutes or so. They should be done after 20 minutes, but they can go another 10 min if you want them smoother.

When the soup is done, stir in the lime juice to taste, then taste for salt. (I used 2 1/2 limes, and added a tspn or two of salt - make sure you taste as you add). At the last minute, drop in the greens and cook just long enough for them to turn bright green and tender. Just before serving, stir in the coconut butter. (Or not)

Ladle the soup into shallow bowls. Add a large spoonful of black rice, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and a good twist of black pepper to each. Spoon yogurt around the rice and serve.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Rockville, MD

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