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BRRRRR… It’s Soup Season

December 7th, 2009

Winter finally arrived to Chiot’s Run. We had a hard freeze 2 night ago, the night before last was in the teens and it was frigid again last night. This means the furnace is on more often, a few more layers are worn to keep warm, a big pot of soup is on the stove, and fresh bread is in the oven.
We love eating soup when it’s cold outside. We keep our house fairly cool in the winter, so soup is as welcome meal for lunch or dinner. We have a lot of favorites, one being the tomato soup I canned many quarts of this summer. We also like chicken stew with dumplings, butternut squash and chipotle soup, venison stews, sausage & lentil soup and curried red lentil soup. I found this recipe on-line somewhere a long time ago and have amended it a little to be a soup. If you want to eat it over rice omit the coconut milk and chicken broth.

Curried Red Lentil Soup

* 1 C. red lentils, picked over, rinsed, and drained
* 3 C. water
* 1 large tomato, cut into 8 wedges (or 8 oz. diced canned tomato)
* 1/4 C. olive oil or ghee
* 1/2 t. cumin seeds
* 1 medium onion (yellow or red), finely chopped
* 5 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
* 1 t. ground coriander
* 1 t. ground turmeric
* 1/2 t. cayenne (or less if you like it milder)
* 1/2 t. ground black pepper
* 1 T. butter
* 3/4 t. salt (or to taste)
* 1 can of coconut milk
* 1 pint of chicken stock


Place lentils, tomato (if using fresh tomato, if using canned add later) and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered until lentils are tender and have lost their shape, about 40 minutes (begin checking that there is still water in the pot at 30 minutes and add small batches of water as needed). Pick out any tomato skins and whisk to break up the lentils. Keep warm over low heat.

Make the tadka (Indian spice prep) as follows:
Heat oil in a medium skillet over high heat when oil is hot, add cumin seeds. After seeds have stopped sputtering, add the garlic and onion and saute over medium heat until most of the onion has turned brown, 5-10 minutes. Add the coriander, turmeric, and cayenne, stir, and pour the onion/spice mixture over the dal. Add the butter tomato (if using canned), (cilantro/parsley), and salt to the dal and simmer for another 5 minutes.

If eating as a soup add coconut milk and enough chicken broth to reach desired consistency. If eating over rice you can still add coconut milk or omit, whatever you like. Serve hot. I like to serve with naan (Indian flatbread).

What’s your favorite kind of soup?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.