This is my favorite Red Lentil soup to date. It was adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe. It combines hearty lentils with delicious curry, creamy coconut milk and is topped off with cilantro. I make it all year round but love to surprise the family with a parsha perfect soup.
2 teaspoons canola oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled ginger (from a 2-inch piece)
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped (2 tablespoons)
1 large shallot, finely chopped (4 tablespoons)
2 carrots, finely diced (about 1 cup)
2 teaspoons curry powder
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup red lentils
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro stems, plus 3 tablespoons cilantro leaves for garnish
¼ cup dried craisins, optional
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic, shallot, and carrots and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add curry powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add 1-1/4 teaspoons salt, 1/2 cup coconut milk, 4 cups water, and the lentils, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lentils and carrots are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour 2 cups soup through a fine sieve into a bowl, reserving solids. Purée strained liquid with remaining soup in a blender until smooth. Reheat after blending. Stir in reserved solids.
Reserving some for garnish, cilantro stems into soup, and ladle into bowls. Swirl in remaining 1/4 cup coconut milk, and garnish with cherries and cilantro leaves.