Friends, I am in a serious funk. This whole late spring thing combined with a rough month at work is taking its toll. I generally try to stay positive, but my patience is thinning.
One of the things that often cheers me up when I’m a little blue is cooking or baking, so it’s an easy go-to solution for me. As cheesy as it may sound, I like the certainty of knowing that if I mix certain ingredients together in a certain way, they’re going to make cookies. Or bread. Or soup. I guess it’s comforting in a way.
Over the weekend, I figured I’d cheer myself up by making some soup. Know why? Soup requires chopping. Carrots. Celery. Onions. All the chopping is very therapeutic. Methodical, you know?
For whatever reason, I decided this soup was going to be of the lentil variety, which is somewhat counter-intuitive considering my first attempt at lentils was, well, kind of a disaster. But I really wanted to make them work. I mean, they’re super vegan, you know? Like, something vegans eat? A very vegan thing to eat? Right? Yes? No? No . . . ok.
I know lentils are really good for me. When other people (i.e., the proprietors of restaurants and grocery stores) make lentils, I like them. My experience with the red lentils, though–no bueno. But several people told me green or yellow or brown lentils were better. While I still don’t understand the differences among them, I figured any lentils had to be better than the mushy red ones.
My cousin had sent me a recipe for a lentil soup that sounded good, but I didn’t have all the ingredients. I decided to invent a recipe based on a hybrid of the one she sent along with a few other ideas I’d found online. What I came up with is pretty freaking fantastic, if I do say so myself (and I do).
Green Lentil Soup with Coconut & Spinach
2 cups green lentils, rinsed and sorted
1 cup sliced carrots
3 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
3 cups diced sweet potatoes
1 heaping T. grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
1 T. tomato paste
1 t. cumin
1 t. coriander
1 t. garam masala
1 t. tumeric
2 t. salt
1 t. fresh black pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 cups frozen chopped spinach
1 can coconut milk
Mix everything but spinach and coconut milk in slow cooker. Set to low heat for 4 hours. Stir in spinach and coconut milk and allow to warm for 15 minutes.
I didn’t grow up eating much Middle Eastern-inspired food, so maybe that’s why this soup tasted so unexpectedly good? The flavor profile is really complex. Smoky and spicy and a little sweet from the coconut milk, plus lots of different textures from the lentils, sweet potatoes, and spinach. Just really delicious.
If you’re like me and have a lentil disaster under your belt, I highly recommend you give this soup a try.
Any good lentil recipes out there?
I need to use up the rest of my lentils, and while I could make more soup, I’d love to try something else. Link it up below!