Winner!!! This soup is a knock out winner! It was so good, and made such an enormous pot, I ate it for lunch and dinner for about 3 days straight. I may have even had it for breakfast one of those days. Last week a very fun friend was talking to James after a church meeting, and mentioned she had a recipe for us. She knew we’d love it. She had tasted it at her daughters home a little while before and loved it and was kind enough to think of the Clawson’s!! (Joni and Erika I will FOREVER be in your debt.) There is one preface I must make before heading on to the recipe. You must have RED LENTILS. You can’t substitute regular brown/greenish lentils. I had already made that mistake a few weeks prior to receiving this recipe. There is nothing appetizing to a soup that is the color and texture of vomit. Yup, you read that right. I had tried to make a similar soup before Christmas, and I hadn’t looked hard enough for red lentils. I didn’t think it would make that much of a difference, but trust me, it did. The entire pot, of lovely brownish- chunky-ish soup was fed to the kitties. They loved it, but I just couldn’t.
Red lentils are actually a lovely salmon-ish, pinkish, orange-ish color. The more fancy, upscale grocery stores will have them, or if you know of a store with a great bulk food section. If you’re lucky enough to live near a Winco Foods they have these lentils. After my huge disaster a month or so ago, I had picked up a bag of red lentils at my not-so-local Winco, and had them just waiting to be used. Talk about being prepared. My 1 year food storage will now include red lentils to go along with my split peas, chocolate chips and cocoa. I totally know what is going to be important should they end of the world befall us:) The only other funky ingredient is the red curry paste. If you’ve read my blog long enough you will now have a bottle of that curry paste in the back of your fridge. It’s another staple at my house. It will last forever, and lends such a great flavor. Here’s a link and here and here and here and here, to a couple of other recipes that you could use your new curry investment in:)
The soup tastes even better the second day. You will love it, and it is so pretty. The texture is somewhat similar to split pea soup, and I included chicken to make it a little more hearty. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Thai Coconut Chicken Red Lentil Soup
Recipe adapted from Erika Andrus (Thanks Erika!)
Olive oil drizzle for the pan (about 1-2 T.)
1 large onion diced
1 red bell pepper diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 large yam or sweet potato peeled and chopped
1 large baking potato peeled and chopped
1 c. red lentils (A must! No substitutions unless you don’t mind nasty colored soup.)
2 t. salt
4-6 c. vegetable or chicken broth (I went with 6 c.)
2- 15 oz cans Great Northern or white beans rinsed and drained
2-3 T. Thai red curry paste (Here’s a link to an image of the curry paste I see in the grocery store most often. I think I actually used about 4 T. Just check seasoning and add more.)
1- 15 oz can coconut milk
28 oz. can of diced or crushed tomatoes
2-3 large chicken breasts sliced into thin bite size chunks
1/8 c. sugar
Fish sauce to taste (optional- if you don’t have fish sauce just use salt to taste.)
1/2 c. cilantro
Lime for garnish
Red peppers or jalapenos sliced thin for garnish
Preheat a large stock pot and pore in the oil and onions and peppers. Saute until almost tender and then add the garlic. Saute a minute or two more. Don’t let the garlic burn.
Add the yam, potato, red lentils, salt and broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling turn the heat down and let cook for 15-20 minute until the lentils are starting to break down and the potatoes are tender. Stir frequently so the lentils don’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pot. When the veggies are tender add the curry paste, tomatoes, raw chicken chunks and continue to cook about 5- 10 minute until chicken is cooked through. Add the coconut milk, and sugar. Adjust seasoning to your liking. This is where I like to add fish sauce to adjust the saltiness. You can totally just use salt. Throw in some cilantro, and garnish with fresh lime slices and more cilantro. So dang tasty!!