A. Soup. A. Week. Spicy Lentil and Chard Greens in Coconut Milk


Like mango, coconut is another of my favorite fruit/vegetables. It is found in abundance in India. While shredded coconut is used in curries, kichidi and dal, one of my favorites is chutney. In southern India, most houses in addition to mango trees have coconut trees. Drinking coconut juices in summertime is cooling and refreshing.

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February’s theme it seems was coconut. Maybe it was my trip to the tropical paradise, The Bahamas or the simple fact that I crave mango and coconut and devour anything that has mango, and coconut. And guess what this past weekend what do I see at my favorite store Trader Joes, but these assorted mango and coconut goodies!

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This week’s soup has lentils, greens and coconut. Can’t go wrong with that. I almost felt tempted to add some mango! This is adapted from The Sprouted Garden. I came across this a few months ago. Remember the  coconut oil that I bought? It was for this soup recipe 🙂

Cardamon is another very typical Indian spice that is extensively used in sweets and spice mixes in curries and other recipes. And gives this soup a very refreshing aroma!

Ingredients:
1 cup lentils
A handful of swiss chard greens (or any other greens spinach or kale)
1  cup coconut milk whole preferably
1 yellow onion chopped
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamon
1 tsp turmeric or curry powder
a few pepper flakes
salt and fresh ground black pepper
roasted or plain coconut flakes to garnish
juice of one lemon or orange
cilantro to garnish

Soak lentils for 6-8 hours. I usually soak mine over night. Soaking longer doesn’t do any harm.

Bring lentils, 3 cups of broth or water and curry powder (or tumeric) to a boil.Reduce to medium low and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a pan. Add chopped onion and fry till lightly brown. Add spices – cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, and fresh pepper flakes.

Transfer the onion and spice mix to the lentils. Add coconut milk, lemon (or orange) juice and shard greens. For a creamier look use whole coconut milk. I did end up using a mix of whole and some light coconut milk. Add salt and fresh ground black pepper. Mix well and keep for 5-10 minutes until the greens wilt. Serve warm with some chopped cilantro and roasted or plain coconut flakes. Makes 4 servings.

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