March – Red Lentil Curry Soup

Red Lentil Curry Soup –Elk Camp’s Mind, Body, Spirit soup of the Month
We jump into spring with a little lighter fare that still packs a mighty punch to push through the longer hours of a long spring ski day. It starts with the mighty little lentil. Lentils are edible seeds that belong to the legume family that provide excellent consistency and flavor for our soup. Their health benefits are many. They are high in fiber which makes them very heart healthy by lowering your cholesterol. They also contain high amounts of folate and magnesium which improves blood flow and oxygen in your body. Perfect for high altitude! They are also high in protein to help build those muscles after breaking them down all day. We keep ours vegetarian but you can substitute chicken stock for vegetable stock to pack it with even more protein. We finish it with some curry and spices to give it a great kick of flavor without being very spicy. Spring is in the air. Stay fueled up and safe out there!

Lentil Curry Soup at home – Serves 6

2 Tbs canola oil(or light desired cooking oil of choice)
1 Medium yellow onion chopped
3 garlic cloves minced
2 tspn ground cumin
2 tspn ground coriander
2 tspn curry powder (use hot curry powder if you like it more spicy)
1 28oz can chopped organic tomatoes with juice
2 ¼ cups red lentils rinsed
2 quarts vegetable or chicken stock
Small pinch of cayenne (optional for spicy)
Juice of 1 small lime
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the onion. Cook and stir until soft, about 5 minutes, and add the garlic, cumin, coriander and curry powder and cook for one minute more. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down a little. As always I like to season with salt in stages as I go to your taste preference. This usually ensures good even seasoning with the end product.

Stir in the lentils and stock. Bring to a simmer and cover for about half an hour. Until the lentils have fallen apart and are soft to the tooth. You can mash the lentils against the side of the pot to thicken the soup or if you have an immersion blender give it a slight buzz to puree some of the lentils and thicken the soup. Taste the soup and add more salt along with a small amount of black pepper and cayenne if desired. Stir in the lime juice in small increments while continually tasting just before finishing. This will help elevate and bring out all of the flavors in the soup. Adjust to your personal preference. We will be finishing this soup with a little Greek yogurt and cilantro at the restaurant.

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