Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Red Lentil Soup with Coconut and Lime

This soup is amazing - savory from the veggie broth and lentils, spicy from the curry power, and THEN you end up with little bursts of sweetness from the golden raisins that have been simmering away in the broth. The squeeze of lime at the end gives it a hint of tartness, as well. Adapted from 101cookbooks.com.

(Note to raisin-averse readers: I usually hate raisins with a fiery passion, but they are delicious in this recipe. Don't let their presence here deter you!)

1 cup yellow split peas
1 cup red lentils
3 cups water
4 cups veggie broth
1 medium carrot, chopped
3-4 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger
3-4 tablespoons curry powder (depending on how much you enjoy spiciness)
2 tablespoons butter
8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
Salt to taste
one small handful cilantro, chopped
1-2 limes
2 cups pre-cooked brown rice

Rinse the split peas and lentils. Place them in an extra-large soup pot, cover with the water and broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot and 1/2 of the ginger. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.  Place the butter in a pan over medium heat, add the green onions, the remaining ginger, and raisins. Saute for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and saute for another minute or two. Add the curry powder to the tomato paste mixture, mix well, and then add this to the simmering soup along with the coconut milk. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so (or simmer longer for a thicker consistency). Taste and adjust the seasoning. I added some extra curry powder here for more flavor.

 Ladle the soup into bowls over the brown rice. Sprinkle cilantro over each bowl, then squeeze some lime on top.

Kale and Black Bean Enchiladas with Green Sauce

I'm not gonna lie - this recipe takes a little bit of time and effort. However, it's worth every minute, AND you can make a big tray of these enchiladas and enjoy them throughout the week. They're packed with good-for-you kale, and the creamy cilantro-scallion-coriander-cumin sauce is so good that I had to stop myself from eating it with a spoon! Adapted from epicurious.

  • 1/2 16-ounce package frozen chopped kale, available at Whole Foods. You could also use fresh kale for this - just wash and chop it into small pieces first. Alternately, you can easily sub in other green ingredients, like spinach.
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  •  2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 green onions, minced (I included the white parts)
  • About 2-3 tablespoons sliced jalapenos from a jar. (Can be upped or decreased based on your spice preferences)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1/2 16-ounce package of frozen kale or spinach (again, it's fine to use fresh - just wash and chop first)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt, or extra milk
For sauce:
Warm the frozen kale or spinach until it's just melted, but not hot. (I usually dump it in a pan with a little water, heat it for a few minutes, then drain it well. If you're using fresh, you can use the same method - just stir it around in a pan with a little bit of water over medium heat until it wilts). Set aside. Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add flour and stir mixture 2 minutes; do not brown. Gradually whisk in milk. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in half the kale/spinach, the 1/2 cup cilantro, 2 green onions, chilies, cumin, coriander and red pepper. Puree in batches in processor until almost smooth. (If it's a little dry, you can add more milk at this stage). Season with salt and pepper. 

For enchiladas:
Combine the rest of the kale or spinach with the black beans, cheddar, and the rest of the cilantro, green onion, cumin, and coriander. Warm the tortillas so they're a little more flexible (I stuck mine in the microwave). Place a few spoonfuls of the filling (about 1/4 cup) in the middle of each tortilla, then roll it up. Place seam side down in large glass baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Stir sour cream into sauce, and pour over enchiladas. Bake until cheese melts and enchiladas are heated through, about 25 minutes.