This is a simple soup with a twist — apples! The apples plus the spices and the coconut milk all make for a pleasing sweet-savory-creamy blend. Yes, I know coconut milk has saturated fat. But if you have eliminated meat from your diet you are already so far ahead of the game on saturated fat that I don’t feel using coconut milk on occasion is a big deal. But you could substitute nut milk, or just puree some of the veggies to give it some creaminess.
Also — don’t be alarmed by the long list of spices! If you don’t have these on hand you can just use some curry powder instead, which is a blend of these same spices. Dried powdered ginger is also an option if you don’t have fresh on hand — but you should always have a piece of fresh ginger in your freezer! It keeps for months and you can just take off the piece you need and put the rest back in the freezer.
I also want to say a word about red lentils. For a long time I really only ever used brown lentils. I really didn’t even know there was another kind. But red lentils have a VERY different character than brown lentils! If you have not used them I encourage you to get them for this recipe.
1.5 cups chopped red onions
1.5 cups chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
3 teaspoons minced garlic
3 teaspoons minced ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon (or more) cayenne pepper
10 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
1.5 cups chopped sweet potato
1.5 cups red lentils
1 large apple chopped
cilantro for garnish (optional)
- Add the onion, carrot and celery to the bottom of a soup pot and saute until softened (about 5 minutes).
- Add the garlic and ginger all the spices and saute for another minute.
- Add the water, coconut milk, sweet potato and lentils. Make sure to scrape up all the garlic and ginger bits from the bottom. Simmer for 20 minutes until lentils are soft, stirring occasionally so no lentils stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Add the apples and simmer 5 more minutes until apples are just tender.
- Turn off heat and add cilantro (if using) for garnish.
*Garam masala is an Indian spice blend. For this recipe if you don’t have it you can just substitute ground cinnamon or omit it.