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BRRRRR… It’s Soup Season

December 7th, 2009

Winter finally arrived to Chiot’s Run. We had a hard freeze 2 night ago, the night before last was in the teens and it was frigid again last night. This means the furnace is on more often, a few more layers are worn to keep warm, a big pot of soup is on the stove, and fresh bread is in the oven.
We love eating soup when it’s cold outside. We keep our house fairly cool in the winter, so soup is as welcome meal for lunch or dinner. We have a lot of favorites, one being the tomato soup I canned many quarts of this summer. We also like chicken stew with dumplings, butternut squash and chipotle soup, venison stews, sausage & lentil soup and curried red lentil soup. I found this recipe on-line somewhere a long time ago and have amended it a little to be a soup. If you want to eat it over rice omit the coconut milk and chicken broth.

Curried Red Lentil Soup

* 1 C. red lentils, picked over, rinsed, and drained
* 3 C. water
* 1 large tomato, cut into 8 wedges (or 8 oz. diced canned tomato)
* 1/4 C. olive oil or ghee
* 1/2 t. cumin seeds
* 1 medium onion (yellow or red), finely chopped
* 5 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
* 1 t. ground coriander
* 1 t. ground turmeric
* 1/2 t. cayenne (or less if you like it milder)
* 1/2 t. ground black pepper
* 1 T. butter
* 3/4 t. salt (or to taste)
* 1 can of coconut milk
* 1 pint of chicken stock


Place lentils, tomato (if using fresh tomato, if using canned add later) and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered until lentils are tender and have lost their shape, about 40 minutes (begin checking that there is still water in the pot at 30 minutes and add small batches of water as needed). Pick out any tomato skins and whisk to break up the lentils. Keep warm over low heat.

Make the tadka (Indian spice prep) as follows:
Heat oil in a medium skillet over high heat when oil is hot, add cumin seeds. After seeds have stopped sputtering, add the garlic and onion and saute over medium heat until most of the onion has turned brown, 5-10 minutes. Add the coriander, turmeric, and cayenne, stir, and pour the onion/spice mixture over the dal. Add the butter tomato (if using canned), (cilantro/parsley), and salt to the dal and simmer for another 5 minutes.

If eating as a soup add coconut milk and enough chicken broth to reach desired consistency. If eating over rice you can still add coconut milk or omit, whatever you like. Serve hot. I like to serve with naan (Indian flatbread).

What’s your favorite kind of soup?

14 Comments to “BRRRRR… It’s Soup Season”
  1. annie avery on December 7, 2009 at 8:55 am

    wonderful recipe!! and thanks for adding the naan link, too. even though i probably have it in a book, somewhere!! ;)

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  2. Jackie @ Lilolu on December 7, 2009 at 9:30 am

    It all looks so yummy! We love to make and soup too.

    Reply to Jackie @ Lilolu's comment

  3. Tree on December 7, 2009 at 10:41 am

    We love soup in the winter. I love it with fresh bread, but bread is hard when I work all day. Maybe I can start the dough before I leave and DH can punch it down twice and then bake it, We’ll have to give that a go.
    .-= Tree´s last blog ..My Grocery Dilema =-.

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    • Susy on December 7, 2009 at 10:54 am

      For freshly baked bread you could also try delayed fermentation bread. Basically you make the dough the night before, do the first rise, punch down, shape and put it in the fridge. You husband could pull it out of the fridge an hour or so (or more if necessary) and bake that evening before dinner. Or you could make a few loaves on the weekend and simply warm in the oven for 5-10 min before eating.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. michelle on December 7, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Nothing beats homemade soup. I will have to make a pea soup soon.
    .-= michelle´s last blog ..Feeling Like Christmas =-.

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  5. Diane@Peaceful Acres on December 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    I love making Indian Dahl which is just lentil soup. It was my favorite thing to eat in India! I think I might like some of the other spices that you use. It’s so good!!!
    .-= Diane@Peaceful Acres´s last blog ..A Serene Sunday =-.

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  6. GirlWithCurls on December 7, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    That bean and ham soup looks delicious. I’m partial to tomato based soups as well. Ministroni is my favorite because I can change the vegetable ingredients to whatever I have in the frig, ha!

    Reply to GirlWithCurls's comment

    • Susy on December 7, 2009 at 10:58 pm

      I like tomato based soups as well. We try to enjoy a mix so we don’t get tired of the same thing. I love that you can use up ingredients from the fridge to make a delicious soup.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. Jaspenelle on December 7, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    My favorite soup… I love a really good clam chowder, which I haven’t had in years now as my husband is allergic to shellfish and I won’t contaminate our cookware with it. (Occasionally I cave and buy a canned version to clandestinely eat.) Second favorite though… it is a toss up between corn and potato chowder.
    .-= Jaspenelle´s last blog ..Pieces of November =-.

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    • Susy on December 7, 2009 at 10:59 pm

      I don’t know if I’ve ever had good clam chowder. I’d probably love it because I love seafood. I should buy some clams next time I’m in Cleveland and make up a pot.

      I do like a good potato soup with bacon & chives – MMMMMM.

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  8. Dan on December 7, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Your soups look lovely! I am a big fan of beef soup with barley in the winter. I have some oxtails in the freeze I am planning on turning into some really rich soup, maybe reduce my homemade stock by 3/4’s, yum.
    .-= Dan´s last blog ..Harvest Monday =-.

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    • Susy on December 7, 2009 at 11:00 pm

      Beef & barley go together quite well. It’s been a while since I’ve made it. The farm we get beef from will have fresh soup bones here pretty soon. I can’t wait! (neither can Lucy)

      Reply to Susy's comment

  9. Mangochild on December 8, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Oh, this is hard! I love soups and stews, and often my dishes are a cross between them. But I’d have to go with two staples: (1) roasted potato and leek soup and (2) lentil soup (mixture of lentils, with ‘masala’ spices of cumin, mustard seed, cumin powder, fennel seed, turmeric, chili powder, paprika, ginger, and garlic). I’ve found that roasting the potatoes first gives the soup a lot more depth to it than just cooking them together. Its also a great way to use those overwhelming potatoes all winter long.
    .-= Mangochild´s last blog ..Spotlight: 2009-2010 Dark Days Weeks Two and Three =-.

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  10. the inadvertent farmer on December 8, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    This looks wonderful…lentils are some of our favorites around here. Thanks for the new recipe!

    We eat a LOT of vegetarian chili…the kids love it with homemade flat bread, Kim
    .-= the inadvertent farmer´s last blog ..Water Park in December a Poem on Not Me Monday! =-.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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