I bought an inexcusably enormous tub of red curry paste several months back, and I've made it my mission to get through it before it's expiration date. In addition to making an obscene amount of vegetable curries over the past few months, I've also learned to incorporate curry paste into other dishes that don't typically call for it. Tomato sauces, braised meats, roasted veggies and many others have gotten an added kick from my new favorite fridge staple.
Above all, the soup department is receiving the most curried attention in my kitchen. Curried butternut squash soup, curried cauliflower soup, curried carrot soup... I don't think I've made a soup that wasn't curried since 2013.
Lentils are very low in fat, and are a great source of protein. When blended, they add a wonderful creaminess to this soup. I never mind a bit of texture in my soups, but you can run the soup through a fine mesh sieve once it's finished in order to remove the slight graininess.
Sop it up with a hunk of warm, crusty bread, or, if like me you're cutting out all the things you truly love in life in preparation for summer, slurp it up with a spoon and pretend it's just as good as if it were being delivered to your mouth via carbohydrate!
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tbsp red curry paste (I like mine with a lot of heat - reduce your amount of curry if you don't!)
1 cup red lentils
4 cups stock (I used a homemade pork stock, you can use store-bought chicken or vegetable)
1 can light coconut milk, minus 2 tbsp
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
Two limes, halved
Heat sesame oil in a large dutch oven (or whatever pot you use to make soups( over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger and onions, toss to coat, and cover the pot to sweat the onions over low heat for about ten minutes, checking frequently to make sure the ginger and garlic are not burning.
When the onions have softened but not browned, add the curry paste and stir constantly for one minute. The paste will stick to the bottom of the pot, this is OK. Add a splash of stock to deglaze the pot, then add the rest of the stock and the lentils. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer to cook the lentils for 15-20 minutes.
Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and soy sauce, and blend until smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and a swirl of the reserved coconut milk. Serve with a half a lime - stir the juice into your soup just before eating.