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Lemon Coconut Soup

March 20, 2016

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Lemon Coconut Soup aka Learn How to Photograph Soup.

Not a very timely topic, but what are your thoughts on New Years Resolutions? Years in the past I made resolutions like picking up my clothes before I go to bed (I literally did not do it a day) or cut back on my almond butter habit (HAH!!!) This year I decided to make a resolution only for January and then go from there – have one green vegetable a day. While searching for different recipes to support my resolution, I was led to this list of detox recipes on Greatist. After a few dozen butterballs, I needed a little detoxing. I haven’t made it through too many of the recipes, but it did lead me to Supper with Michelle. A few months later, I’m doing okay on my “one green thing a day.” I’m far from perfect, but I’m doing my best.

DSC_0484That’s a complete lie. I am not doing my best at all. Yesterday I had quinoa, rice, sushi, and Girl Scout cookies (quinoa and rice were separate meals). To support my “green habit” I am making this soup regularly. I had small expectations  – I didn’t think I’d be a fan of a lemony soup, but the lemon is not over powering and gives it a nice brightness. The coconut milk is what makes this soup so satisfying, and the quinoa adds a nice crunch.

Confession: Until about a year ago I’d never made grains on a stovetop. I use a rice cooker at home. Before my “grain test” in school I called my friend, Kaitlin, in a panic to have her walk me through the process. In case there are any others out there who are grainaphobic, The Kitchn has simple directions to make rice, and rice and quinoa have the same proportions grain to water.

DSC_0490Also, an interesting fact about cooking grains – if you boil the water first, then add the grain, it will give you a fluffy texture. If you combine the grain with cold water and bring it up to a boil, it gives you sticky grains. I prefer sticky. I recently tried freezing the soup. I’ll get back to you on how it does. Here’s to eating more greens!

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Lemon Coconut Soup
Serves 4 – Adapted from Supper with Michelle “Lemon and Spinach Orzo Soup”

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of quinoa
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • ½ a yellow onion, small dice
  • 3 carrots, sliced on a bias
  • 2 stalks of celery, small dice
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup of red lentils
  • 5 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 can of full fat coconut milk
  • ½ a lemon – juice & zest
  • 3 cups of de-stemmed, chopped curly kale
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare quinoa according to your preferred method and set aside.
  2. In a 4-quart pot, on low-medium heat, add olive oil and stir in onion. Add a pinch of salt to help sweat the onion. Sauté for 5-10 minutes, or until translucent.
  3. Add celery, carrot, garlic, lentils, and red pepper flakes. Stir occasionally until vegetables become slightly tender – about 5 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat to high and pour in vegetable stock and cover soup until it comes to a boil.
  5. When the soup boils, bring down the heat to low and simmer with the lid off for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir the coconut milk into the soup until it becomes well incorporated. Squeeze half a lemon into the soup, and microplane the zest to your liking. (I probably used ¼ teaspoon)
  7. Add chopped kale and prepared quinoa to the pot and heat for another 5-10 minutes or until the kale becomes wilted.
  8. Season with salt to your liking.

Question: Do you make resolutions and if so, how are they going?