We started cooking with Heidi Swanson this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs and she'll be our featured chef for the next six months. This is especially good because I am a long-time reader of her 101 Cookbooks blog and I have all four of her cookbooks but rarely seem to cook from them. Now I have no excuse not to work my way through them over the next few months.
We are saying Hello Heidi! and making a dish to welcome her as our featured chef and I can think of no better welcome than a bowl of delicious soup. The recipe is from her Super Natural Every Day: Well Loved Recipes From My Natural Foods Kitchen cookbook or can be found on her blog here. Heidi says that you can use green lentils or green split peas, although the green split peas give the soup a slightly brighter color--so that's what I used.
Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter
From 101 Cookbooks and Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson
(Serves 4 to 6)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, ghee, or coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
5 1/2 cups good-tasting vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 cups green lentils or green split peas, picked over and rinsed
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp Indian curry powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
fine-grain sea salt
1 bunch fresh chives, minced
(I added fresh cilantro, chopped)
In a large soup pot, combine 2 Tbsp coconut oil, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes over medium heat. Cook, stirring regularly, until the onions soften. Add the vegetable broth and lentils and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the lentils are tender. This usually takes about 25 to 30 minutes, but can take as long as 50 minutes depending on your lentils or split peas.
Meanwhile, warm the 3 Tbsp 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 batches in a blender. You can leave the soup a bit chunky if you like, or puree until it is perfectly smooth. (I pureed half in the blender and stirred it back into the rest.)
Stir in half of the spiced butter, taste, and add more salt, if needed. Serve drizzled with the remaining spice butter and sprinkled with chives (and cilantro).
Notes/Results: This is one of the best lentil (OK, split green pea) soups that I have made--simple, but so much flavor from the curried brown butter. It's nicely spiced with a kiss of heat, but not too much (you can vary the heat by the type of curry powder and amount of red pepper flakes you use). The coconut milk and the butter make it rich and delicious. If you wanted a dairy-free version, you could use a vegan butter substitute but sometimes you just have to say yes to the real butter! ;-) I pureed half of my soup in order to have some whole split peas and onion for the chew factor and the grilled mini naan bread was perfect for dunking into the thick broth. I would definitely make this one again.
You can see the dishes that everyone at IHCC made to welcome Heidi by checking out the picture links on the post.
We have some good friends in the Souper Sundays kitchen who shared some delicious dishes last week--let's have a look!
Melynda of Our Sunday Cafe stopped by with Celery Root and Asian Pear Waldorf Salad and said, "This is a wonderful salad, perfect alongside any meal. We enjoyed it with grilled chicken, but it would be equally at home during the holidays as part of a larger meal served to family and guests. It can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to an hour before serving to allow those last minute tasks to take place. And your family will love it."
Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared two dishes this week. First up is The Ultimate Black Bean Burger. Tina said, "There is a little food co-op in Tallahassee we like to frequent. It's called New Leaf Market and they have some great local fruits and vegetables, loose stocked grains and flours and so many healthy food items. They also have a kitchen and food bar and let me tell you, they make one of the best black burgers I have ever had. They are handmade rather than the frozen textured vegetable protein type burgers. Very lush and filling. Soon I want to make my own and have found several good recipes in the Linda McCartney cook book and also one by Heidi Swanson. Stay tuned for those experiments."
Tina's second dish was this soup-ish Vegetarian Cassoulet. Tina says, "This recipe for cassoulet may seem unusual as it doesn't have any meat. That's right, a recipe considered a meat-fest and prepared all sorts of ways in France has been adapted for vegetarians. I guarantee you, everyone will love this rich stew. It's become one of our favorites. I'll post the recipe at the end, it's super simple to put together and the slow cooker does all the work. Winner!!"
Debbie of The Friday Friends made Mexican Potato Soup and said, "Mexican Potato Soup. Mmmm. I would serve this one at my fictional soup restaurant "Ahh-some Soups." The Handyman co-signed that. He said "if you were going to make this again, and I know you're not, but if you were, just know that I like it a lot." This one tho? I just might make it again....it was creamy, cheesy, potato-y, spicy goodness.
Mahalo to everyone who joined in this week!
Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)
(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...
To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
- Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.
On your entry post (on your blog):
- please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
- you are welcome to add the wonderful Souper Sundays logo (created by Ivy at Kopiaste) to your post and/or blog (optional).
Have a happy, healthy week!