When the temperatures start to plummet, there is nothing that comforts the body and soul quite like a bowl of hot soup. This is one of absolute favorites. Simple, clean ingredients, high nutrient density, and nothing too complicated prep-wise - just the way we like it. The warming spices of cardamom, ginger, and cumin in this soup are just perfect this time of year - helping to aid in digestion and warm up the core. The base of this recipe - red lentils - are a winter pantry essential. Red lentils are affordable, are packed with plant based protein, and cook up very quickly. They're also relatively neutral in flavor, so it's easy to mix things up and test out a different blend of spices depending on the end result you're going for. Once cooked, they also break down into this perfectly creamy, almost pureed-like consistency, which is perfect for making hearty soups, or a thicker dhal* that can be layered over steamed rice or veggies. While cardamom can be a very strong spice, it really blends seamlessly with the coconut, yam, red lentils, cumin and ginger in this recipe. You could also choose to incorporate greens like kale or spinach into this recipe. This soup has a very subtle, mild sweetness, yet is savory at the same time. Perfectly balanced. We hope you love it as much as we do!
Cardamom-Spiced Yam and Red Lentil Soup
1.5 cups red lentils, rinsed well
1 large garnet yam, scrubbed and peeled - or roughly 4 cups diced
1/2 large yellow onion + 1 Tbs coconut oil
1/2 cup Dastony Stone Ground Coconut Butter (if solid, no worries, the butter will melt immediately once added to the hot soup)
2 Tbs chopped ginger root, peeled
1 tsp cardamom
1.5 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
5 cups purified water
1. In a large soup pot, sautée yellow onion in 1 Tbs coconut oil on medium heat until it begins to turn translucent.
2. When onion is nearly done, stir in chopped ginger, cardamon, cumin, and black pepper, and continue to sauté for another minute longer.
3. Add diced yam, lentils, himalayan salt, and 5 cups water. Bring to a boil, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the red lentil and sweet potato are soft and well cooked.
4. Add in coconut butter, and stir well. Continue to simmer for an additional 5 minutes or so. At this point give it a taste test and add additional spice or salt to suite your taste buds.
5. Once done, you can serve as is, or choose to puree 1/2 of the soup into a more smooth consistency using an immersion or regular blender or a food processor. Add this back to the remaining half of the soup. This is totally optional.
6. Serve in bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro, and an optional squeeze of lemon or lime if you like. Enjoy!
*To make into a thicker dhal-consistency, simply cook with a bit less water.