Red lentil curry coconut soup








Thursday I drove through an absolute spectacle of autumn colours in the Palatinate region (Germany) and the northern Alsace: rows upon rows of yellow-orange tinted vines rivalled by copper-coloured or flaming red trees and shrubs, interspersed with flecks of bright yellow and little specks of green. The sun was shining and the sky was mostly blue, what a marvellous day – and hopefully an auspicious one, too. Imagine all these autumnal colours mirrored in this equally warming & exciting soup. It is hearty, not too mushy but with a bite, creamy coconut and bursting with warming ginger & curry with the occasional raisin-sweetness. A sprinkle of fresh spring onion for a little zing and coriander, invigorator extraordinaire complete this bright & beautiful soup which lights up even the dreariest of murky autumn & winter days.For these, keep a portion of the soup in the freezer and defrost in minutes when in need of liquid sunshine and a hearty soup that warms the cockles.

There are some dishes, which become all-time favourites from the first spoon and this is one of them. They provide nourishment beyond simple nutrition-intake and at this time of year I’ll make sure to have all ingredients in stock, not that that is very hard for me I hear someone in the background. Most of them are store-cupboard marvels and even if you are not overly fond of Asian flavours great to have on hand to provide a welcome twist to old-faithfuls. Consider this a slightly exotic version of pease pudding bursting with curry & coconut notes and appreciate the difference in warmth.

red lentil curry coconut soup

I have a weakness for an obsession about a well-stocked pantry and love to browse the markets at home & abroad. All these treasures get lugged home to our larder, formerly a walk-in closet where half the space is (still) given to storing empty boxes (my husbands charming quirk: we’ll need them when we move again…), gardening & grilling gear, tools and the likes. In this santum-sanctorum, I can admire my precious ingredients, imagine what to cook* and when. Presently, this charming foible of mine has gotten a little out of hand and our larder was bursting to the brims with cookware, baking moulds, tortilla press, poffertje pan (ups, have I confessed to that one yet?), racy Italian sausage stuffer (before you ask, we are using that one to make proper British bangers and approaching salsicce worth their name), various waffle irons, preserves, spices, pastes, condiments, pulses, flours and sugars from around the world. Add the multicoloured sprinkles which the new Baked book made me buy and the list gets endless.

Since we do not live on a remote island or somewhere where we might get cut off from the rest of the (culinary) civilized world for half a year this manoeuvers me into a corner that I do not want to be in. So, here’s my week: clear out, move and repurpose old shelves, dream about ridiculously expensive new floor to ceiling shelves which would make my larder look like a Dean & Deluca, spend hours of research on how to get them to or in Germany and finally come to the conclusion that wood is so much nicer, more sustainable (yep, and a lot cheaper) and a little more National Trust house kitchen larder. And now that all is orderly & spacious again, I’d say, all those things are needed, indeed essential, indispensable – and very pretty in lovely tins & boxes & glasses on shelves and in baskets.


* Any clue what to do with gum arabicum? I’ve bought it a while ago for a dish which now eludes me and I haven’t got a clue where I’ve read about it, something Middle Eastern perhaps? Help and recipes are incredibly welcome!


More soups for great autumn days: Minestrone della nonna, triple pumpkin soup, artichoke soup, Olive pickers’ soup, quick tom yum,



red lentil curry coconut soup

Red lentil curry coconut soup

Serves 6. I have adapted Heidi Swanson’s already perfect soup, used broth for a deeper savoury flavour, more carrots but reduced the amount of coconut to retain the flavour but make the soup less liquid (and less calorific, which makes it even suitable for a 5:2 day and counted 350cal per portion if you are fasting before / after the Christmas & Thanksgiving holidays).

1 cup (200g or 7 oz) red split lentils (masoor dal)
1 cup (200g or 7 oz) yellow split peas
6 cups (1.4 litre) vegetable broth
2 carrots, roughly chopped (pea-sized pieces)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger (peeled)
2 tablespoons good Madras curry powder
2 tablespoons butter
5+3 spring onions (scallions), white & green parts thinly sliced
1/3 cup (50g) golden, yellow raisins
5 tablespoons tomato puree (tomato paste)
1 small tin coconut milk (5.6 oz or 165ml)
sea salt
chopped coriander (cilantro) for serving, optional

Rinse lentils and split peas until the water runs clean and add them to a large pot and cover with the stock. Bring to a boil, add carrots and ¼ of the ginger and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for roughly 30 minutes until the split peas are soft.

Toast the curry powder in a dry pan until fragrant and keep until needed. In a small skillet (I use the same), melt the butter and sauté the 5 sliced spring onions, the remaining ¾ ginger and raisins until softened (2 minutes), add the tomato paste and cook for another minute or so. Add this along with the toasted curry powder & coconut milk to the soup, season with a little salt (perhaps 1 teaspoon, depending on the saltiness of the broth) and simmer without a lid for another 20-30 minutes.

This should be quite a thick soup quite similar to pease pudding and I agree with Heidi, the thicker the soup gets, the more I like, too. If a thinner consistency is preferable to you, add a little more water.

Serve with the thin slices of the remaining 3 spring onions & coriander sprinkled on top. In my book this soup is perfect like this, if you need additional sustenance: add 3 tablespoons cooked warm faro, brown rice or spelt to your bowl.




red lentil curry coconut soup

Rote Linsensuppe mit Curry & Kokosnuß

6 Portionen. Adaptiert von Heidi Swanson bereits perfekter Suppe, etwas pikanter durch die Gemüsebrühe, mehr Möhren, weniger Kokosnuß, was die Suppe auch zu einer großartigen 5:2-Mahlzeit macht für die ich 350 Kcal pro Portion gezählt habe – falls jemand sich schon auf die Zeit vor / nach Weihnachten vorbereiten will…


200g rote Linsen (Masoor dal)
200g gelbe Schälerbsen
1,4 Liter Gemüsebrühe
2 Karotten, in Erbsengroße Würfel geschnitten
2 EL gehackter frischer Ingwer (vorher schälen)
2 EL gutes Madras Currypulver
2 EL Butter
5 + 3 Frühlingszwiebeln, weiß und grün in dünne Ringe geschnitten
45g goldgelbe Rosinen
5 EL Tomatenpüree
1 kleine Dose Kokosnussmilch (165ml)
gewiegter frischer Koriander zum Bestreuen (optional)

Linsen und Erbsen waschen bis das Wasser klar bleibt und in einem großen Topf zusammen mit der Gemüsebrühe zum Kochen bringen. Die Karotten und ¼ des Ingwers hinzugeben, die Hitze reduzieren und das Ganze zugedeckt mit einem Deckel für ca. 30 Minuten köcheln lassen bis die Erbsen weich sind.

Das Currypulver in einer trockenen Pfanne toasten bis es gut riecht und beiseite stellen. In einer kleinen Pfanne (ich benutze dieselbe) die Butter schmelzen und die 5 geschnittenen Frühlingszwiebeln sowie die restlichen ¾ Ingwer & die Rosinen anschwitzen (ca. 2 Minuten). Dann das Tomatenpüree hinzugeben und ebenfalls unter rühren für 1-2 Minuten sautieren.

Diese Tomatenmischung zusammen mit dem Currypulver und der Kokosnussmilch in die Suppe hineinrühren, mit etwas Salz abschmecken (abhängend von dem Salzgehalt der Brühe, ca. 1 TL) und ohne Deckel weitere 20-30 Minuten köcheln lassen. Das sollte eine relativ dicke Suppe in der Art einer Erbsensuppe geben und ich stimme mit Heidi überein, dass je dicker die Suppe ist, desto leckerer ist sie auch. Falls jedoch eine dünnere Konsistenz bevorzugt wird, einfach noch etwas Wasser oder Brühe hinzufügen.

Mit den restlichen Frühlingszwiebeln und gehacktem Koriander bestreut servieren. Wer eine noch gehaltvollere Suppe einfach 3 EL gekochten warmen Emmer, braunen Reis, Dinkel oder Grünkern in die Suppenteller geben.


4 thoughts on “Red lentil curry coconut soup

  1. I like your weeks goals! So funny. I adapted the same soup from 101 cookbooks! It’s phenomenal! I can’t wait to make it again. She really nailed this one and so did you! SOunds like you had a beautiful drive. I think one of our biggest fights, btw, was about my husband storing boxes. We finally came to a compromise by breaking them down and putting them under the couch. We did end up using them when we moved.

    • Thank you Amanda and what a coincidence – but not really, you’ve said it, it is such a beautiful soup and I feel I’m missing something when we had not had it in a while.
      Haha, great place to store the boxes! We’ll need considerable more seating to be able to do that… what are you doing with the inside bits that are soooo necessary (and unfortunately, he’s right) to transport the apple, monitor, loudspeakers? Every few years I find boxes for stuff we chucked out a long time ago and switch into a pre-spring clear-out mode and I am still living it, hence the meager amount of posts.

    • Thanks Carmen, it does open up and intensifies the flavours. Having to admit here, that sometimes I forget the toasting when in the middle of cooking it. No harm done, though: the soup is great with or without toasted curry. N.

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