We had rain today. And wind. Lots of wind. And gray skies. It was glorious.
Normally, you wouldn’t hear a Pacific Northwesterner praising rain in August – most likely because summer had only actually started three weeks before. But, this summer has been hot like the surface of the sun (I imagine). We’ve got fires blazing across Eastern Washington, I’ve seen 90 on the thermostat in the car more times in a week than we usually do all summer, and I’ve probably melted off at least a cumulative ton of makeup.
The cooler weather was like a glimmer of hope, of fall, of winter, of soup.
Soup. I love soup. Which reminds of me of this clip, which I also love. But, it isn’t really the kind of food you want to indulge in when it’s like walking through Hell’s version of summer every time you go outside.
So, today, in honor of the rain and the wind, I made lentil soup, which is one of my favorite kinds. There are likely a million recipes for lentil soup out there, but I was particularly pleased with how mine turned out today, as I used ingredients that don’t usually make it into the pot (ie: the coconut milk, which gave a pleasant creaminess, without adding any coconut taste).
Katie’s Windy Day Lentil Soup
3/4 cup golden lentils (or whatever you have in the pantry)
1 medium yellow onion, diced (about a cup)
1 tbsp of tomato paste
1 tsp of garlic paste
2 cups diced red potatoes
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1/2 cup coconut milk
Pinch red pepper flake
Generous tsp of cumin (more to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
Coat a dutch oven with about a tablespoon of oil and heat on medium high heat. When it’s hot, add the onion and the garlic and let cook for several minutes, stirring frequently. Add the cumin and the red pepper flake and stir for about a minute to bloom spices. Add the tomato paste and stir until bright red, about one minute. Add the lentils and stir for about one minute. Follow with the liquids, then the potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil, then let simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes and lentils are done (I like my lentils just past al dente, but the key is having the potatoes fully cooked).
Served with warm crusty bread.
Feel cozy inside.
NB: You can definitely add more vegetables to this – I usually throw a carrot into my lentil soup, but we didn’t have one so I left it out and really didn’t miss it much. Sometimes, I also add sausage – just be sure to adjust the salt accordingly.