Lentil Curry Soup

One of our favorite restaurants, Cafe Sprout, has a spicy red curry soup that we love -- with chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots, celery, onion, red lentils, and quinoa. Isa also has a Sweet Potato and Red Curry Soup that looks good. So I made up a recipe that pulls from both. Larry said it was fantastic! (Originally posted September 2015; updated February 2020 to be even better :)

1T canola oil
1 small hot pepper (like serrano), diced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium potato, chopped

1 can diced tomatoes (or 2 C fresh, chopped)
6 cups vegetable broth
1 lb (16 oz) dried red lentils, washed
1/2 C quinoa (dry, uncooked)

2 cups chickpeas, cooked
1/2 to 1 can lite coconut milk
3T fresh lime juice

2 tsp cumin seeds (note: if don't have seeds,  use 2 tsp ground and add w/rest of spices)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T fresh ginger, grated
1 T curry powder
2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper to taste

Saute cumin seeds and diced pepper in canola oil for 30 seconds. Add chopped onion, carrots, celery, and potatoes, and saute for 5 minutes or so, until onions are translucent. Add the rest of the spices and stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes, broth, dry red lentils, and dry quinoa. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, add cooked chickpeas, and simmer 20 minutes. Add coconut milk and lime juice. Serve.

Here's how it looks if you don't add a cup of dry quinoa and chickpeas -- delicious but SUPER thick.

And here's how it looks if you add potatoes but no quinoa:

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