Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter

This is one of my favorite recipes now. It's packed with flavor, it's healthy-ish, and it's easy to make. Recipe below and photo gotten from Heidi Swanson's blog 101 Cookbooks, which I recommend in general.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, ghee, or extra-virgin coconut oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

5 1/2 cups good-tasting vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 cups green split peas, picked over and rinsed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon Indian curry powder

1/2 cup / 125 ml coconut milk

a little salt

Combine the 2 tablespoons butter, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a large soup pot over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the onions soften, a couple minutes. Add the vegetable broth and lentils and simmer, covered, until the lentils are tender. This usually takes 20 to 30 minutes, but can take as long as 50 minutes.

In the meantime, warm the 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and let it brown. When it starts to smell nutty and fragrant, stir in the curry powder and sauté until the spices are fragrant, less than a minute.

When the lentils are finished cooking, remove from the heat, stir in the coconut milk and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and puree with an immersion blender, or in a regular blender. You can leave the soup a bit chunky if you like, or puree until it is perfectly smooth.

Stir in half of the spiced butter, taste, and add more salt, if needed, typically a couple of teaspoons if you used water instead of a salted broth. Serve drizzled with the remaining spice butter (!) and sprinkled with chives, pan-fried paneer cubes, whatever you like.

Serves 4 to 6

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