After Thanksgiving excess, the the body will pine for healthy, light fare like the all-vegan menu with heavy Middle Eastern accents at B52.
Soup is an easy way to turn inexpensive ingredients into a filling meal for the whole family. I tasted this Indian-spiced soup during a Saturday sample-day visit to Whole Foods, and Iliked it so much that I got the young guy serving it to write down the ingredients.
Both gluten-free and high in fiber, the soup gets its protein from dry red lentils, a tiny humble-looking legume that becomes creamy and salmon pink when simmered in broth. I added spinach, but you could also use chopped or shredded chard or kale. It’s terrific with hot crusty bread for dipping.
Note: No one wants to chip a tooth, so before cooking, rinse lentils under running water and pick through them to remove any bits of stone that may have gotten mixed in.
1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons curry powder
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can coconut milk
15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1½ cups dry petite red lentils, rinsed and sorted
2 to 3 handfuls chopped spinach, kale or other green
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped cilantro, chopped green onion and/or vegan sour cream for garnish
In stockpot, heat coconut oil over medium heat and stirfry onion, garlic and gingera couple of minutes until onion is translucent. Add tomato paste, curry powder and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute.
Add vegetable broth, coconut milk, diced tomatoes and lentils. Cover and bring to boil, then simmer on low heat for 20 to 30 minutes until lentils are very tender. Season with salt and pepper. (If you’re going to freeze the soup, cool before storing in air-tight containers; soup can be re-heated over medium heat.)
Just before serving, stir in spinach or other green and garnish with cilantro, green onions and/or sour cream.
Serves 8 to 10.
— Whole Foods
Gretchen McKay: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1419 or on Twitter @gtmckay.