Lately I've been making soup like crazy, because when it snows for days on end nothing sounds as warming as a big bowl of soup. I love to make soup as much as I love to eat soup, even if I don't especially care for the weather that inspires all this soup-making. This soup was my version of a Thai Coconut Curry Soup I spotted on Jeanette's Healthy Living. I changed the Thai curry paste to curry powder which I thought would hold up better in the slow cooker, and also changed the proportions of the recipe a bit for a slightly different riff on Jeannete's soup recipe. I enjoyed this with a generous dollop of fat-free Greek yogurt, which didn't make it into the photo, and this is a soup I'll definitely be making again.
I used crushed ginger and garlic puree in this soup, but if you're using freshly minced ginger or garlic I'd reduce the amount a little.
Heat olive oil in a heavy pan, then saute chopped onion for 3-4 minutes. Add crushed ginger and garlic puree and saute 1-2 minutes more, then add curry powder and saute another minute. Put the sauteed onion and spice into the crockpot.
Chop up one very large sweet potato into 1/2 inch dice and add to crockpot. (These are sometimes called yams or sweet yams in U.S. grocery stores, but they're really sweet potatoes.)
Add the red lentils to the crockpot.
Deglaze the pan with about 1 cup of the chicken stock and add it to the crockpot.
Then add the other 5 cups of stock, and stir to distribute the ingredients.
Cook on high for about 4 hours, or until lentils are starting to dissolve and the sweet potatoes are very soft. (If you want a completely smooth soup you can puree it at this point, but I left mine slightly chunky.
Add 1 can light coconut milk and cook about 20 minutes more. Season with sea salt to taste and serve hot, with a generous dollop of fat free Greek yogurt or light sour cream if desired.
Crockpot (or Stovetop) Recipe for Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe adapted from Thai Coconut Curry Soup at Jeanette's Healthy Living.)
1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup chopped onion)
2 tsp. crushed ginger or ginger puree (or use a slightly smaller amount of finely minced ginger)
2 tsp. garlic puree (or use a slightly smaller amount of finely minced fresh garlic)
1 T curry powder (I used Penzeys sweet curry powder)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 1/2 cup red lentils
6 cups homemade chicken stock (or use 4 cans chicken broth)
1 can light coconut milk
sea salt to taste
fat-free Greek yogurt or light sour cream, for serving (optional)
Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan; add the chopped onion and saute 3-4 minutes or until onion starts to soften. Add the ginger and garlic and saute 1-2 minutes more; then add the curry powder and saute one more minute. Add the onion mixture to the crockpot.
Add the chopped sweet potato and red lentils to the crockpot. Deglaze the pan with 1 cup of the chicken stock and add to crockpot along with the rest of the stock.
Cook on high for 4 hours, or until lentils are starting to dissolve and sweet potato is very soft. (At this point you can mash or puree with an immersion blender if you want, but I left my soup fairly chunky.) Add 1 can light coconut milk and cook about 20 minutes more. Season to taste with sea salt and serve hot, with fat free Greek yogurt or light sour cream if desired.
Stovetop Recipe Instructions
Heat olive oil in a heavy soup pot, then saute onions, ginger, garlic, and curry powder as described above. Add chopped sweet potato, red lentils, and stock, bring to a low simmer and let cook until lentils are starting to dissolve and sweet potatoes are very soft, about 1 hour. (At this point you can mash or puree with an immersion blender if desired.)
Add coconut milk and cook soup at the barest possible simmer for about 10 minutes, taking care not to let the mixture boil after the coconut milk has been added. Season with sea salt to taste and serve hot, with a dollop or fat free Greek yogurt or light sour cream if desired.
Sweet potatoes and red lentils are both great low-glycemic ingredients, and using light coconut milk makes this soup suitable for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. Limit portion sizes for phase 2, since dried beans are limited to 1/3 to 1/2 cup serving.
More Soups with Coconut Milk:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Coconut Lime Turkey (or Chicken) and Rice Soup from Kalyn's Kitchen
Thai Chicken Soup from Kalyn's Kitchen
Creamy Zucchini and Coconut Milk Soup from Cookin' Canuck
Green Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk from Lisa's Kitchen
Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Coconut Milk from Gluten Free Goddess
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)