It was a dreary day in NC yesterday. Cloudy, chilly and windy. Even though we are several days into spring, I was in the mood for soup! Since I still have a large amount of lentils in the pantry (from a shopping spree at the local Indian market), I decided to make one of our favorite soups - Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter. This is another Heidi Swanson recipe that I have tweaked a bit to our liking.
LentilsLentils are one of my favorite ingredients to cook with. I like to make them on Sunday to have for lunches throughout the week. They are very easy to make, cheap to buy and healthy to eat! Lentils are actually seeds from an annual plant part of the legume family and come in many different types. Unlike other dried beans, these do not need to soak overnight before cooking and will absorb the flavor of whichever liquid cooked in. I usually cook lentils in broth to enhance the flavor.
In this case, it was vegetable broth and I had split peas (which can be substituted for green lentils if you can't find them). I had some spring onions left over that I added to the onion and garlic.
Lentil Soup with Curried Brown ButterYields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45-60 minutes
2 T ghee or butter
1 small red onion, chopped
2 spring onions, green parts removed and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups dried green lentils (can also use dried
5 1/2 cups vegetable broth, water or mixture of both
3 T unsalted butter
2 T curry powder
In a large soup pot, melt the ghee (or butter) and add in the onions and garlic. Saute until the onions have softened a bit, about 5 minutes. Add in the red pepper flakes and curry powder, stir well and saute for another 1 minute until very fragrant.
Add in the lentils (or split peas) and stir to mix in with onions and butter. Stir in the broth/water and cover the pot. Cook on medium heat for at least 30 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed by the lentils. This took almost 50 minutes for me.
When you are close to the end of cooking time for the lentils, melt the unsalted butter in a small saute pan over medium heat. Cook until a nutty fragrance comes out. Stir in the curry powder and cook for a minute or two longer while stirring constantly. Be careful not to burn anything!!
Once the lentils are cooked through, remove from heat and leave the lid off the pot. Serve with a small spoonful drizzle of the curry browned butter, yogurt and chives. You can also top with bacon or pancetta as I did in this picture.