I’ve been bored with my lunches lately. I feel like make the same things over and over. Then I don’t want to eat what I pack for lunch so I end up going out. That, of course, is expensive and not exactly healthy, because I am not buying salads. So the other day, I spent some time online searching for something new. I came across this soup recipe: Spiced Coconut Lentil Soup. I gave it a shot and I have to say, it was quite good. Now, with that said, let’s talk about some of these ingredients.
First of all, what is “pink Himalayan salt?” Salt is salt, people. I’m on a budget here and I’m not going to go fork over $12 for some fancy-schmancy salt that tastes just like regular ol’ table salt. I substituted kosher salt as I felt that was gourmet-ish enough. Pink Himalayan salt, give me a break . . .
Next, let’s address the issue of the “red chili.” This is a bit vague. There are many types of chilies that are red, but none that I know of called a “red chili.” As it happens, there was not a single chili that was red in color at my grocery store so I used a green jalapeno chili and it worked just fine. If you use a jalapeno, I would recommend getting one that is on the larger side. For the record, I did seed mine, though if you really like some heat, you could leave those puppies in there.
Finally, my last substitution was for the coconut oil. This is one of those things that I would never use for anything else so I didn’t see the point in buying it. I went ahead and used olive oil and it tasted just fine to me—about 2-3 teaspoons. I imagine canola oil or regular vegetable oil would work just as well.
Once cooked, I gave mine a going over with the immersion blender so it had a thick, potage-like consistency. The coriander, cumin, paprika, garlic and ginger all work to give it a wonderful spicy tang which is followed up by a nice kick from the chili. When I make it again—and I’m pretty darn sure I will—I think I might up the cumin a bit. I loves me some cumin.
What makes this soup is the coconut milk. It’s creamy and rich. Unfortunately, that also makes this soup less that low-cal. I thought about using lite coconut milk, but I think the texture would be too watery. I’m sticking with the real stuff and cutting out those extra calories elsewhere. This is a substantial soup that if you eat it at lunch, will keep you full through to dinnertime. That’s good for something, right?
I’ve been looking for a good lentil soup recipe for years and I think I may have found it. Does anyone else have some good lunch ideas?