Curried lentil soup is easy to prepare, it doesn’t take a lot of time in the kitchen and it tastes great. The addition of a small bit of curry powder gives lentil soup just enough flavorful spice. Ingredients for different kinds of lentil soup, including curried lentil soup and beef lentil soup, can vary by a cook’s personal preference or by recipe, with some variations including coconut milk, coconut oil, and vegetable stock, while others might use olive oil and plain water as basic ingredients.
Lentils are available in many different types and a variety of colors. Brown lentils, often found packaged dry on grocery store shelves, are affordable and often used in many kinds of lentil soup, while many curried lentil soup recipes instead call for green or French lentils. All types are a good source of protein, potassium, fiber, iron and folate. They store easily and well, and they cook up quickly without the need to rinse or soak them first. French lentils are also called Puy lentils, their name derived from their place of origin in France, Le Puy. These lentils have more flavor than other types and tend to remain a bit more firm, rather than mushy as some lentils become with cooking.
Curried lentil soup and other types of lentil soup can be prepared in a slow cooker, set on low for about eight hours. Some lentil soup recipes call for the addition of tomato products, which requires a slight adjustment. Tomatoes and other acidic products can affect the way lentils cook, so tomatoes and similar products should be added to the slow cooker soup only after the lentils have thoroughly cooked.
Many home cooks like to keep packaged lentils on hand for those times when the cupboards start looking empty because curried lentil soup and other lentil dishes are a healthy meat substitute. Lentil products are also popular in vegetarian dishes, sometimes ladled over vegetables, mashed potatoes or rice. Lentil dishes are also affordable.
Baking with lentils is another way to make a meatless family dinner, saving time and money while producing a healthy meal. A variety of recipes exist that combine lentil products with pork, chicken or beef. Just as a cook can spice up curried lentil soup, a cook can also change the flavor of lentil dishes by varying the accompanying ingredients or by changing the way the dishes are prepared. Some families like lentils baked in a casserole, for example, while others like to top their salads with lentils.