Fall is upon us here in Lima and to me that means one thing: IT’S SOUP TIME! For me, not much is better than a good soup. For S, EVERYTHING is better than a good soup. JK, well not really… he often says “soup isn’t really my thing”. Soups can be deceiving though, as many pre-made and prepackaged versions are loaded with extra sodium. Being that I love soups so much, it was super important for me to come up with a few recipes in my wheel-house that could curb that soup craving in a much healthier way. For S that means a few hearty flavorful soups that will even have a burly man asking for more 🙂 Today’s culprit: Coconut Lentil Curry Stew. This stew is packed with veggies and flavor and has both a vegan and chicken option. You can’t really go wrong. I am usually not much of a measurer when I cook, as I tend to throw ingredients into a pot until things “taste right”. However, for today, I measured everything so I could share!
One of the big things for my busy life is to prep everything in advance. If you know you will be short on time, you can even prep all the veggies in the morning or the night before and leave them in the refrigerator until needed. Your vocab for the day: Mise en place (pronounced Mi zen plas). It means “putting in place” or getting everything set up. I learned this from Anne Burrell on Worst Cooks in America. Need I say though, I would not be a candidate on that show… I PROMISE. Anyways, here is the recipe! Enjoy 🙂
Coconut Lentil Curry Stew
- 2 TBSP coconut oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped (You can use another type but red has more flavor)
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 5 cloves minced garlic
- 2 TBSP finely grated ginger (fresh or dried, both are fine)
- 2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
- 2 cans of coconut milk, 400 mL each
- 2 cups diced zucchini
- *Optional* 4 diced chicken breasts
- 2 cups cooked lentils, any color
- Fresh cilantro and sea salt to taste
Heat coconut oil in a dutch oven or large pan on medium heat. Add onion and carrots and cook until slightly browned, approximately 5-7 minutes. I like the carrot a bit al dente.
Stir in garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander and cayenne and cook for another 2 minutes. The smell is amazing!! Add in tomatoes and coconut milk, making sure to shake cans well before adding. Stir well.
If you want chicken, add and simmer for approximately 15 minutes stirring occasionally. If you don’t want chicken, move on to zucchini. Add in the zucchini and simmer for an additional 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Add cooked lentils and stir well. Cook 5 more minutes on low heat until all is warm.
Add salt and more cumin or cayenne to taste. Serve in a bowl with fresh cilantro sprinkled on top. Hint- We like to use Pita bread to soak up the extra broth, It’s that good. Enjoy!