Green Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk and Warm Spices

(from kylerhea’s recipe box)

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Note: Like many things with complex spicing, this soup improves with time. It’s great on the first day, but it’s even better on the second.

Source: Adapted from Once Upon a Tart

Serves 4 people

Categories: ASIAN, SOUPS


  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups French green lentils, picked over for stones and other debris
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt, plus more to taste


  1. n a soup pot or Dutch oven, warm 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is translucent. Turn the heat down to medium, and add the garlic, thyme, and turmeric. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is lightly browned and very soft.

  2. Add the stock and the lentils, bring to a simmer, and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and tender.

  3. In a small saucepan, warm the remaining 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. When the butter is entirely liquefied, there will be a foamy white layer on top. Skim it away and discard it. What you’ll have left is clarified butter – a clear, yellow liquid – and a bit of white sediment at the bottom of the pan, which are the milk solids. Carefully pour the clarified butter into a small bowl or cup; then rinse the sediment out of the pan. Return the clarified butter to the pan, and place it over medium heat. Add the cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper, and warm them, stirring, until they are very fragrant, a minute or two.

  4. Pour the clarified butter and spices into the soup. Add the coconut milk, and stir well. Cook for about 15 minutes to blend the flavors. Taste, and adjust the salt as necessary. Serve.

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