Lentil Coconut Soup


1 fresh onion, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, such as Arbequina or Picual
1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
salt and pepper
2 tsp Ground Turmeric
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/4 Cup shredded coconut [preferably unsweetened]
1 cup sliced okra [frozen is okay]
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 cup dried lentils
1 quart vegetable stock [or chicken stock, if you don’t care about keeping the soup vegan/vegetarian]
1 15oz can coconut milk
1 dozen fresh basil leaves, sliced into ribbons [optional]


Heat olive oil in a heavy saucepan on medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes, until soft. Reduce heat a little, and add garlic and ginger, saute for another 5 minutes, being sure not to let ginger or garlic over-brown. Sprinkle with salt and fresh-ground pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes, until contents of pan are translucent and/or brown.

Turn heat to medium-high and add turmeric and cumin to the pan, stirring to coat the onion, garlic and ginger. Add canned tomato, shredded coconut, okra, zucchini, and lentils. Stir in vegetable stock and coconut milk, and bring mixture to a boil. Turn pan down to a barely-bubbling simmer. Put lid askew on pan, so cover partially but let some steam out.

Let soup simmer for about 40 minutes, until lentils are soft. Add water or stock if soup needs more liquid.

Ladle soup into bowls. Slice fresh basil leaves into ribbons, and sprinkle across surface of soup and serve.

This is a good make-ahead dish, and/or keeps in the fridge and reheats well.