Green lentil and spinach soup

Green lentil and spinach soup with lime
I’ve been dreaming about a soup like this for ages. Sad, aren’t I? I was thinking specifically of lentils, a cheap and oh so healthy store cupboard fave of mine, with some spice, some coconut creaminess, and a little zing of lime too. I am so smugly pleased with the outcome! Just wolfed down a bowl. Adam too. *Kids not yet. Will report back when they give their verdict – honestly I will! And it will be honest too, knowing them. 
If you fancy a bowl of comforting yet healthy goodness, then try this. I think you’re going to like it. I cooked the soup with half a chopped green chilli, and served more on top for grownups. But go for it if your kids or whoever you’re serving likes it hot. You must eat it will lots and lots of chopped fresh coriander, oodles of lime juice and a fresh sprinkling of salt – Maldon flakes ideally. Yet again, I have made enough for the large family I am obviously unconsciously craving; simply halve proportions if you want to make less. Saying that, I think it would freeze well (if freezing I would add spinach after). Talking of spinach, I strongly suggest tucking it in just before serving to retain the colour and fresh texture. 
*Bea (nearly 2) had a bit; Artie (nearly 4) notsomuch. Probably one for the adults, then, or older children. Told you I’d be honest!
Serves: 8/10 adults
Prep time: 15 minutes 
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes

Ingredients: 
2 tablespoons of a plain oil, vegetable, sunflower or rape seed would be ideal
2 tablespoons of coconut oil (don’t worry if you don’t have this in, but it’s a nice addition)
2 thumbs worth of ginger, diced finely
4 cloves of garlic, diced finely
1 tablespoon coriander seed, toasted then crushed (you could use ground coriander, but it won’t be as nice)
1/2 green chilli, sliced finely
1 onion, diced
500g green lentils
2l stock (a light chicken or veg ideally homemade, but if using shop bought then leave out salt)
1 can of coconut milk 
Juice of 1 lime, plus zest
225g spinach
2 teaspoons of salt
Pepper
To serve:
Freshly chopped coriander 
A couple of limes, to squeeze
Salt
Natural or Greek yoghurt 
Instructions: 
  1. Heat the plain oil, I used rape seed, in a pan over lowish heat. Add your ginger, garlic and chilli. Cook out for 5 minutes until softened. 
  2. Meanwhile, toast your coriander seeds in a pan, dry. This will only take about 3 minutes. Watch them as they burn quickly. Bash them in a pestle and mortar to grind. 
  3. Add your onion to the garlic and chilli and cook for 5 more minutes, until nice and sweet and soft. 
  4. Now add your turmeric and ground coriander to the mix. Cook for a few minutes. 
  5. Rinse the lentils. Add to the pan. 
  6. Pour in your stock, bring to boil. Add the coconut milk, season well, and simmer for about 40 minutes. Stir often to release the lentils’ creaminess; I lovingly stirred mine the whole time, which was very meditative. 
  7. The result you want is soupy, with soft lentils and not too much excess water floating on top. When you are happy with the consistency, which in my case took about 40 minutes, add lime, zest and juice.
  8. At the very last minute, turn off the heat and tuck in the spinach. Serve with a final squeeze of lime, chopped fresh chillies (red would be lovely but I could only get green), loads of fresh coriander and a good dollop of Greek yoghurt. Sprinkle more salt on top. Marvel at healthy food tasting so good. 
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2 Comments

  1. April 7, 2014 / 4:45 pm

    I love lentil soups and this looks like a good one to use lots of the chard that's furiously growing in the garden – the zingy lime sounds fab too, would happily tuck in to lots of this.

  2. April 7, 2014 / 4:46 pm

    It would be great with chard. I'm jealous of your vegetable garden, lucky you having chard growing furiously! : )

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