These are the daffodils that inspired this week’s early spring soup and so I’m calling it Yellow Turmeric Coconut Lentil Soup.
I figured I’d go recipe-less and just wing it. These are the soup truths that gave me the confidence to go rogue.
Soup Truth #1: Soup is forgiving.
That’s a really good thing because my attempts to just go for it didn’t exactly go as planned. My sense of scale must have been way off this week because the ingredients that I bought didn’t yield the 8 quarts of soup that we need for our soup-sharing club. (That wouldn’t have happened if I’d followed one of the recipes in our book!)
Soup Truth #2: A well-stocked pantry can save the day.
I made this soup backwards. I started with a spice-less sauté of onions, garlic and freshly-grated turmeric, to which I added the split yellow lentils and broth. I was inspired by something I’d read to work with spices in a new way. But I ended up burning the entire lot of whole mustard and cumin seeds that I planned to add to the finished soup at the end of cooking. I suddenly needed a lot of flavor, so I sautéed a couple more onions with a few tablespoons of mixed ground coriander, cumin and curry. I added that mixture to the pot and threw in more salt.
Soup Truth #3: Bulk up your soup with grains and canned goods.
When I was done I barely had 6 quarts. What? That wasn’t enough, so I added a can of diced tomatoes, a cubed sweet potato (that had been hanging out in my refrigerator) and a can of coconut milk. That still wasn’t enough. How could I misjudge so profoundly? I added some cooked quinoa and I got to 8 quarts. I adjusted the salt again.
And there you have it, ladies. There’s cardamon and curry leaf infused jasmine rice and a couple pieces of naan to accompany the soup. The sumo mandarin that looks so mighty will help muscle out any lingering traces of winter.
Soup Truth #4: Soup up your Soup in the privacy of your home.
This is a very mild soup, and will definitely welcome your spicy sautéed greens or red pepper flakes. I can’t wait to hear how you eat it.
Yours in soup and spring,Tina
(Caroline and Julie, I’ll drop your deliveries before I get the kids at school at 2:30. Courtney, I’ll hang your delivery on your door at around 4:30.)