This green lentil soup (which can be made with green split peas if you can’t find green lentils) is warm and hearty and absolutely delicious.
Truly the curried brown butter is the most amazing drizzle to hit a soup in the history of ever.
The buttery spiciness compliments the creamy, simple soup perfectly. And I don’t know what it is about the combination of coconut and curry but it gets.me.every.time.
Although admittedly, the coconut milk in this soup is subtle…yet important.
I quickly sliced and toasted up (in a 425 degree oven) some leftover rolls hanging about my pantry and the kids went crazy dipping the crunchy croutons in the soup and fought over who could have the last remnants in their lunch thermos the next day.
I solved that problem lickety split by simply finishing off the soup right then and there in order to eliminate arguing (and promised to make it again soon so I didn’t earn Worst Mother of the Year award by eating my kid’s dream lunch).
1 1/2 cups green lentils or green split peas, picked over and rinsed
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Indian curry powder
3/4 cup coconut milk, light or regular
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Toasted bread or croutons for dipping, optional
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the 2 tablespoons butter, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes, stirring regularly, until the onions soften, about 5-7 minutes. Add the chicken or vegetable broth and lentils and simmer, covered, until the lentils are tender, anywhere from 20-50 minutes, so check occasionally.
While the lentils simmer, melt the 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and let it brown (watch it carefully since butter can go from brown to burned quickly!). When it starts to smell nutty and fragrant, stir in the curry powder and cook for about 30 seconds.
When the lentils are finished cooking, remove the pot from the heat, stir in the coconut milk and 1/4 teaspoon salt and puree with an immersion blender (or carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender in batches and puree before returning to the pot). Blend the soup until completely smooth or leave with a bit of texture; your choice.
Stir in half of the spiced butter to the soup and add additional salt to taste, if needed.
Serve the soup drizzled with the remaining spice butter and toasted bread if using.
Red Pepper Flakes: I gave a range for red pepper flakes. They add a delicious flavor balance but if you want a slight hint of heat, use more; if not, use less.
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