Kenji’s Lentil and Coconut Soup and Sweet Potato Salad

This was a fantastic meal! The soup is a slightly modified version of Serious Eats editor Kenji’s Lentil and Coconut Soup. He made this as part of his month long vegan experiment and it’s really tasty! To go with the tropical flavors, we made  a salad with sweet potatoes, mango, basil, bean sprouts and a citrus-sesame dressing.

We made a few changes to the recipe, but check out the original and Kenji’s other vegan recipes.

1 TBL olive oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 large onion, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 stalks celery, finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger minced
2 habañeros,  seeds removed, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 pound dry black lentils
2.5 quarts water (or stock)
2 bay leaves
1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (plus extra for garnish)
1 tablespoon Siracha
1/4 cup juice from 2 limes
1 tablespoon soy sauce (we used Bragg’s)
1 tsp salt

Precook the lentils in a pressure cooker (about 8 minutes) or in a pot with water. This will dramatically reduce the cooking time.

Heat oil in a large pan. Add carrots, onions, and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, habañero pepper, cumin, and coriander and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute longer.

Add the sauteed vegetables, etc. to the lentils, bay leaves, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lentils are completely tender and have started to break down and thicken the soup, about 30-45 minutes.

Discard bay leaves. Partially puree some of the soup with a hand blender or in a standing blender to thicken. Add coconut milk, salt, cilantro, hot sauce, lime juice, and soy sauce and stir to combine. Cook another 10 minutes uncovered.

Garnish with extra cilantro.

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