If I had to describe this is soup in one word it would be “homey”. The chunky carrots, dense lentils and large shredded pieces of chicken bring a comforting thickness to this soup. The coconut milk and apple added a touch of sweet, but it was the carrots that provided a perfumed scent, reminding me of the kind served at Thanksgiving that have been roasted for hours. Taming the sweetness, the flavour from the garam masala is pleasantly noticeable, giving the soup an international taste. If you don’t like ginger, don’t worry, you can barely taste it in this soup, so leave it in for the extra health benefits!Click here for the Recipe. I did not make any changes to this recipe, because I thought it was perfect as is! I have listed the ingredients and directions below for your convenience:
Ingredients (Serves 4-5):
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 golden delicious apple, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks of celery , chopped
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 tablespoon garam masala, divided
- 1 1/2 inches piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1 cup red lentil, rinsed in cold water
- 2 cups packed skinless cooked chicken, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (from a large rotisserie chicken)
1. Heat the vegetable oil in a fairly large pan, over high heat. Once hot, reduce the heat to about medium. Add 1 t garam masala and cook for about 1 minute. Then add the carrots, onion, apple and celery and cook, while stirring a bit, until the mixture has softened up, approximately 8 minutes.
2. Add the chicken stock, coconut milk, ginger and 1 t of the garam masala to the pan. Add the rinsed lentils and bring the soup to a boil (on high heat), then reduce the heat to low and simmer it for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. You just want to get the lentils nice and tender.
3. Add the chicken and the remaining 1 t garam masala to the soup and let it return it to a boil again. Serve. Optional to sprinkle the cilantro over the top of each bowl of soup.
Source: Recipe and directions!
Trying new spices is a great way to stir up a new soup or create a new meal. I started using Garam Masala after living in the Middle East, and now it is one of my favourite ingredients to use in soups and curries. Garam masala is a blend of aromatic spices such as coriander, cumin, nutmeg, cloves, black pepper, cassia leaf, cassia (similar to cinnamon but a bit more intense and woodier), anistar, fennel seeds, dry ginger, caraway, and triphala. Each garam masala you buy will have different spices, so take note of the brand you like. Garam masala brings a bitter sweet aroma to dishes, similar to how a clove smells. Interested using this spice?5 ways to use Garam Masala:
1. Use it to flavour some vegetables in a side dish (such as green beans or cauliflower)
2. Make some spicy nuts
3. Making apple or kale chips? Use garam masala as a seasoning!
4. Add some spice into your cakes and cookies when baking.
5. Sprinkle some over your popcorn
Overall recipe rating: 4/5 Kiwis