This is my absolute favorite soup of the season. I created it because I wanted a creamy, hearty soup that would become a family favorite. It had to be hearty enough to suffice as a full meal for a hungry teen and even hungrier husband. All I can say is that I now have to make a huge pot every week now. My Red Lentil Coconut Quinoa Soup is indeed a big hit!
Why I included the key ingredients
Red Lentils – because they are full of protein but produce a creamier consistency than green, brown or black lentils
Red Quinoa – I love red quinoa as it contains antioxidants as well as a bunch of protein
Coconut Cream – I wanted to give my soup extra creaminess and a hint of sweetness with this delicious cream
Serves 2/3 entree size portions (depending on how hungry you are)
1 tbsp of neutral cooking oil or 2 tbsp veggie broth
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 leek, trimmed and finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
A pinch of red chili pepper flakes (totally optional)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup red lentils
3/4 cup red or yellow quinoa
6 cups low sodium veggie broth
1-2 tbsp tomato paste, depending on how tomato-ey you want it (I always keep a tube in my fridge)
Filtered water as needed
3 tbsp coconut cream (culinary coconut milk – get the full fat version and use the cream that has risen to the top.)*
1tbsp fresh lemon juice
Fresh parsley, minced
Himalayan sea salt
*This does add extra calories and saturated fat to your soup, but makes it utterly delicious. If, however, you are on a fat-free diet or dislike coconut, you could sub with a cultured yogurt, or leave it out entirely)
Heat the oil or broth in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan
Add the onions, leek, and carrots. Saute until the veggies have softened.
Add the garlic, cumin, and black pepper, chili flakes, and saute for another minute, stirring.
Add the lentils, quinoa, broth, and tomato paste. Stir well. Turn down heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to blend the soup. You could pop it into a blender, but my Vitamix over blends it because I do like the soup to have texture – you want to be able to see the quinoa!
If you have blended it in a blender (I use my immersion blender in the pot), pour the soup back into the pot. Warm it through over a medium heat and stir in the coconut cream. If the soup is too thick, add a little filtered water to get the consistency you want. Add the lemon juice. Season to taste with sea salt.
Serve in warmed bowls, and sprinkle with freshly minced parsley.