I love lentils for many reasons. They're nutritious (fiber, folate, magnesium, protein), fast and easy to prepare (no soaking required), they're inexpensive and you can do so many different things with them (salads, stews, burgers, soups). Lentils do not need pre-soaking but can be pre-soaked to improve digestibility and reduce cooking time. I normally soak my lentils overnight for this reason.
COCONUT LENTIL SOUP
1 cup green lentils
1 cup red split lentils
7 cups water
1/2 cup white wine
1 medium carrot, cut into small pieces (as small as you can cut)
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons curry powder
8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
80 ml cup tomato paste
5 oz (small can) coconut milk
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
(optional cilantro for garnishing)
Give the lentils a good rinse - until the water runs clear. Place them in a large soup pot, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot, 1/4 of the ginger and the wine. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.
In the meantime, in a small dry skillet or saucepan over low heat, toast the curry powder until it is quite fragrant. Add the oil in the pan, half of the green onions and the remaining ginger. Saute for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and saute for another minute or two more. Add this to the simmering soup along with the coconut milk and salt.
Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or so, depending on how thick you want the soup the be.
Sprinkle with cilantro and the remaining green onions. Serve with quinoa or rice.