Early last spring, I was crying tears of jealousy as all my favorite west-coast and southern bloggers began showcasing the early harvest of local fruits and vegetables. Here in New England where snow still dotted the rock-hard earth, fresh summer produce was nothing but a dream.
After what seemed like eons, fresh local produce eventually arrived and I savored it as best I could. In fact, the farmers markets are still going strong with tomatoes, beans, eggplant, beets, lettuces, and of course, my beloved winter squash.
But that didn’t stop me from an early plunge into fall foods.
During the final week of August, when the temperatures plummeted and clouds and rain filled the sky, it felt enough like fall to make some soup. I remembered Heidi’s last soup of winter, an earth-toned gem with warm spices accented with sweet golden raisins seen on 101 Cookbooks. I knew without a doubt this would become my first soup of fall. Of course, it wasn’t really fall and summer showed it’s bright face for most of September. But a little taste was all I needed.
It was the perfect soup for just that time of year too. Rich and hearty, but in a lighter, elegant way; not too heavy like some cold-weather favorites. And, the red and yellow lentils create a bright color reminiscent of the best produce of late summer and early fall – or an Indian summer sunset. Though it should go without saying, this soup is incredibly nutritious too, packed with filling fiber and protein. Now that fall is here to stay, I guarantee this soup greet me again on a busy weeknight as I stumble in from the chilly outdoors.
I added some shrimp for a little extra protein, which I think went nicely with the lentils and didn’t distract from the flavors of the soup. I also chose to make it in the crockpot, but you can refer to Heidi’s recipe for the stove-top instructions.
1 cup / 7 oz / 200g yellow split peas
1 cup 7 oz / 200g red split lentils (masoor dal)
7 cups / 1.6 liters water
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
1/3 cup / 1.5 oz / 45g golden raisins
1/3 / 80 ml cup tomato paste
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
one small handful cilantro, chopped
toasted coconut, for garnish
Optional: 3oz raw shrimp per serving, peeled and deviened, shells removed
Start by rinsing the lentils. Put them in a bowl, add enoguh water to cover, and stir around. Drain through a mesh sieve. Repeat until water runs clear. Place the rinsed lentils in a crockpot with the water and carrots.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, toast the curry powder until it is fragrant and has darkened a bit. Transfer to a small dish and set aside.
Heat the butter or coconut oil in the pan, and add half of the scallions, the ginger and the raisins. Saute for two minutes, stirring constantly. Then add the tomato paste and cook for another minute or two. Off the heat, whisk in the coconut milk and the toasted curry powder. Pour the coconut milk mixture into the crockpot, and season with salt.
Cover and cook on high for 6 hours.
If desired, season the shrimp with salt and pepper and sprinkle with lime juice. Cook under the broiler for about 4-5 minutes, turning once, until just opaque.
Serve the soup garnished with toasted coconut, green onions, cilantro, and shrimp, if using.
Nutritional Info (does not include shrimp)
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 8.8 g
Cholesterol: 10.4 mg
Sodium: 152.2 mg
Total Carbs: 53.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 16.7 g
Protein: 17.4 g