Cooking From Memory ~ A Recipe Journal

Curried Chicken and Lentil Soup

Posted in Soups, Stews & Gumbos by Paul Gauche on December 18, 2009

Lucky Pantry… I had a couple hours of free time this morning and like so often happens, I’m crusin’ the cupboards. Now, I knew I had a package of chicken breasts in the fridge and I needed to use them somehow, but was tired of chicken tacos and wasn’t up for marinating and grilling on this winter day. So when I opened the spice cupboard and saw some Penzey’s Hot Curry, something clicked. Lentils. Do I have lentils? Of course, they’re in a bag next to the corn meal and flax seed.  So here we go… just happned to have a carton of stock and some plum toms. Lucky me.  The only things I didn’t have but would add were the coconu milk (which I improvised here–just happened to have some shredded coconut; and the mint.  Next time I make this, I’ll buy mint.  This will be great with some fresh bread and a salad.  Happy Friday night…

Ingredients ~

  • 2 cups brown lentils
  • 1 package (3 – 4) boneless chicken breasts
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ cup coconut milk (tip: substitute with ¼ cup milk, or soak ¼ cup coconut flakes in ¼ cup milk for 15 minutes. Strain coconut before adding milk.)
  • 2 cups diced plum tomatoes, or 16 ounces of diced, canned tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint, optional

Method ~

Place the lentils in a large saucepan and cover with cold water about two inches over the top. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook the lentils until tender, about 25 minutes. Set aside.

Bring the chicken stock up to a boil in a sauté pan. Reduce the heat and poach the chicken breasts until done, about 6-8 minutes. Remove chicken from the stock and set aside. Reserve the stock for the soup. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred or cut into small pieces.

Heat the oil in a medium size saucepan over a medium heat. Sauté the onions until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the curry, ginger, and garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes longer.  Add the reserved chicken stock and coconut milk to the onion mixture. Simmer about 10 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and lentils and bring to a boil. Add lemon juice and salt and fresh ground cracked pepper to taste. Add the chicken and heat through and serve. Garnish with mint.

Serves 6


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