It’s not me. It’s you. [Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter]
Aaaaaaand we’re back. Hello there!
First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU! I can’t believe 2011 is but a distant memory. The years sure do pass by quickly when you’re a ‘grown-up’ (I use grown up for lack of a better word to describe the sort-of-adult-sort-of-teenager-sort-of-old-lady stage I’m in).
As you might know, I’m not much for resolutions. I feel they just set me up for disappointment when I quit them in a few weeks. Instead, I find it more appropriate and practical to reflect on the previous year and the points where I may not have been at my best and work to be better at those specific things (Fret not, I won’t bore you with all my 2011 shortcomings). I will, however, say that I plan to become a better writer, photographer, and all-round blogger. Expect more from this gal in 2012.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve had more (way more) than your fill of turkey for the season…maybe for the year. We finished up our final New Years Day turkey dinner last night with Mr. GL’s family and while it was absolutely scrumptious, I think I’ve had my fill of the holiday-bird. Turkey, it’s not me. It’s you. I’m sorry. I really, really am.
I saw Heidi, of 101cookbooks, post this over the holidays and knew I had to make it. It’s delicious for multiple reasons, but the one that stuck out most to me wasn’t the golden streak of curried brown butter swirled atop the green soup, it wasn’t the addition of toasted croutons or the creamy coconut milk. It was the fact that it wasn’t turkey. It could have been anything but turkey and mashed potatoes and I would have plowed through it happily. That said, I’m glad it was this soup that reintroduced me to non-holiday eating. It’s healthy, which we could all benefit from this time of year, warm and comforting and most of all, it’s one of the most wonderfully satisfying soups I’ve had in quite some time. Thick and creamy without being heavy, not to mention the curried brown butter. OHHHHH the curried brown butter. What a stunning condiment. A little goes a long way and it’s so beautiful atop a bowl of soup. And on a spoon. And in my mouth.
Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter
adapted from 101cookbooks
The recipe calls for either green lentils or green split peas. Both are delicious, but as Heidi explains, the split peas give the soup a beautiful, brighter green colour. I like green. Don’t you?
2 tbsp olive oil or butter (or ghee)
1 large yellow onion, rough chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
5 1/2 cups water (or good veg/chicken broth)
1 1/2 cups green split peas or green lentils
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp Indian curry powder
1 can coconut milk (400ml)
2-3 slices of your favourite bread, cubed
In a large dutch oven or your favourite soup pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the lentils and water/stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until lentils are soft. It will take anywhere from 20-40 minutes for your lentils to cook so test one out after about 25 minutes and go from there.
While lentils are softening, toss your 3 tbsp of butter in a sauce pan and let cook, over medium heat, until golden brown, about 6-7 minutes. Add the curry powder and stir, cooking, for another minute. Remove from heat and pour into a small bowl.
In the same pan, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and your cubed bread. Pan fry over medium heat until crispy around the edges.
Once the lentils are soft, remove the pot from heat. Stir in the coconut milk and half of the curried brown butter. Using an hand-blender (or a counter-top blender), puree the soup until smooth or, if you prefer more texture, puree in short spurts until desired texture is achieved. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.
Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with remaining curried butter and top with a few croutons.
Dive in and reflect on the past year over a soothing bowl of soup. Wishing you all the very best in 2012. Let’s make it the best year yet, ok?