Several friends of mine have been singing the glory of Heidi Swanson’s Coconut Red Lentil Soup for over a year. Now that I finally saddled up and made a variation of that soup, I’m inclined to join their joyful chorus.
Truth be told, I’m a sucker for anything containing coconut milk and curry. But the beauty of this soup is that its complex and addictive flavor comes together in a relatively simple process – even simpler if you have leftover sprouted (or unsprouted) beans or lentils on hand. I usually make a pot on Sunday to add into dinners and lunches throughout the week. But when I fail to prepare anything in advance, I especially appreciate sprouted beans, as they cook up in a fraction of the time it takes to make unsprouted lentils or beans.
I used a combination of sprouted green lentils, sprouted mung beans, and sprouted adzuki beans by truRoots, which I picked up at Costco and have been throwing into many other dishes, including my Greek vinaigrette-dressed pasta salad. I also added a generous handful of green beans to get some more veggies – and color – into the soup.
A piping hot ladleful or two of this soup, served alone or over farro and sprinkled with cilantro and chives, made for a fresh and healthy but comforting dinner, while the leftovers warmed me up during lunch at the office throughout the rest of the week.
Sprouted Bean Coconut Curry Soup (adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Coconut Red Lentil Soup)
Although Heidi’s recipe originally featured red lentils, I used a sprouted bean mixture (including sprouted green lentils) to speed up the cooking process and add a larger variety of textures and flavors. I also threw in some green beans at the end, which cooked just enough in the broth during the time between soup ladling and actual soup consumption, to add some color and green veggies to the mix. Finally, per Heidi’s suggestion, I served this over about 1/2 c. cooked farro per person, although the soup was hearty enough by itself when I heated it up for lunch the next few days.
3 c. cooked sprouted beans
2 Tbsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. butter (or oil for vegan)
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 Tbsp. ginger, grated
1/3 c. currants or raisins
1/3 c. tomato paste
14 oz. coconut milk
4 c. water
1 c. green beans, chopped
1/3 c. cilantro, chopped
Cook sprouted beans per package instructions (mine had me pour 6 c. water and 2 c. dried sprouted beans in a pot, bring it to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 5 minutes; then remove pot from heat, and let stand (still covered) for 10 minutes; drain the beans and you’re all set.)
In a large pot over low heat, toast curry powder until fragrant (be careful not to burn it). Pour onto a small plate or into a small cup, and set aside.
Add butter (or oil) to the pot, and cook until melted (or oil is hot). Add 2 green onions, red onion, carrot, ginger, and currants (or raisins). Saute for 2 minutes, and stir in tomato paste. Saute for another 2 minutes, and then add coconut milk, curry powder, cooked beans, and water. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the soup thickens a bit, about 20 minutes. Add chopped green beans (they will cook while you ladle into bowls and serve).
Ladle soup into bowls (over cooked farro or brown rice, if you wish), and top with cilantro and remaining green onion.