Lentils, lenticchie in Italian, are often served at New Year’s dinner throughout Italy. Lentils were traditionally believed to bring good luck and prosperity to those who eat them on New Year’s Day because of their coin-like shape. The typical Italian lentil dish is called Cotechino con lenticchie, sausage and lentils. I believe it’s a Tuscan dish.
My Italian mamma has never made this dish as it isn’t a typical Calabrian dish, nor has she made curried lentil soup, but I thought it would be fun to bring it over to mom and dad’s for New Year’s dinner just the same. We could all use a little good luck in 2019. Maybe if you see this post today, you could make it too, and it will hopefully bring you good fortune in the coming year.
I love lentil soups, especially this one. It’s hearty, spicy and satisfying. This vegan recipe was inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi, cookbook author of Ottolenghi Simple. His curried lentil recipe inspired me to make this adapted variation based on the ingredients I had in my fridge and pantry yesterday. You can follow the link to Ottolenghi’s Instagram account and find the original recipe in his Instastories. I can never follow recipes to the letter, except when baking, and even then, I go rogue sometimes and change things up a little, which is not usually a very good idea.
The family really enjoyed the soup, so I’m adding my variation to the blog, so that you can make it too.
Curried Vegan Warming Lentil Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro stems, cut into 1 cm pieces
- 3 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1 can peeled tomatoes or chopped tomatoes (796 ml or 3 1/3 cups)
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 can coconut milk (250 ml or 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves for garnish
- more salt as needed
Combine the salt and the spices in a bowl. Set aside.
Add the oil to a large sauce pan. Add the onions to the pan. Cook the onions on low heat until translucent, around 5 minutes.
Add 1/3 of the spice mixture to the onions and stir.
Add the garlic and the ginger to the pan and stir.
Add the lentils to the pan. Add another third of the spice mixture to the pan and stir.
Add the vegetable stock to the pan. Stir.
Add the tomatoes to the pan. Add the remaining spice mixture. Stir.
Cover the pan with a lid. Allow the soup to simmer on low heat for 25 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Check for salt. Add more if necessary.
Add the coconut milk. Stir until combined.
Garnish with cilantro leaves.
- If you don’t prefer spicy soups, you can use less pepper.
- If you’re watching your weight, you can use just a half cup of coconut milk