A few years ago I bought the book 125 best Vegetarian Slow Cooker recipes by Judith Finlayson as a way of adding some healthy slow-cooked meals to my repertoire. Truly, as is so often the case, I have only tried a few recipes from this book as a whole, but one of my favorite soup recipes of all times is in there, Red Lentil and Carrot Soup with Coconut. To hear the name, some people balk, and it has been a few years since I first tried it so I'm not sure of my motivation in trying it in the first place, but the comment I wrote above the recipe with the date of 11/1/05 was, "Delicious!" I have a habit of writing the date and any comments above any new recipe I try in a cookbook and "delicious" is a word I reserve for the special few. I have since made this recipe for a church potluck to rave reviews and made it this past weekend while my parents were visiting. My father couldn't get enough of it. I love it because besides from being delicious, it saves me so much time to put all of the ingredients in the slow cooker at the beginning of the day and let it work its magic. Enjoy, and if you try it, let me know how you like it!
Red Lentil and Carrot Soup with Coconut by Judith Finlayson from 125 best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes
Serves 8 to 10 as a starter, or 4 to 6 as a main course
2 cups red lentils
1 Tbls vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked black peppercorns
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes, including juice
6 cups vegetable stock (because it is a vegetarian cookbook, I use chicken stock though)
1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk
1 Tbls. lemon juice
1-2 Thai chilies finiely chopped
Thin slices lemon (optional)
Finely chopped cilantro (optional)
1. In a colander, rinse lentils thoroughly under cold running water. Set aside.
2. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tumeric, cumin seeds, salt and peppercorns and cook stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil, breakng up with the back of a spoon. Stir in reserved lentils and stock.
3. Transfer mixture to slow cooker stoneware. Cover and cook on Low for 8-10 hours or High for 4-5 hours, until carrots are tender and mixture is bubbling. Stir in coconut milk, lemon juice and chili pepper and cook on High for 20-30 minutes until heated through.
4. When ready to serve, ladle into bowls and top with lemon slices and cilantro if using.