Tonight’s Pinterest-inspired dish was Yellow Lentil and Spinach Slow Cooker Soup, but my soup was not nearly as pretty as the picture. I had to use brown lentils instead of yellow, so my soup was brown, and I used broccoli instead of spinach. I also cooked mine on the stovetop instead of in the slow cooker, and added some chili. Hence, Indian-spiced lentil and Broccoli Soup. Hop over to her blog if you want the slow cooker instructions.
I still have kale I could have used in place of the spinach, but not only did the broccoli need to be used, I think my husband is getting tired of me throwing kale into absolutely everything! If you like Indian Dhal you will like this soup.
I made some half-whole-wheat flatbreads to go with the soup, and I’ll post the recipe below; they were so easy! ALMOST as good as restaurant Naan, but not quite. Still working on finding the best Naan method! I you have one, please share it in the comments!
2 cups yellow lentils or split peas, washed and picked through (I used brown lentils, but I will look for yellow next time!)
8 cups water (I might try vegetable broth next time, but it will change the flavor considerably)
1 heaping Tbsp ginger paste or minced ginger root (I used grated frozen ginger)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 TBSP tomato paste*
1 scant tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp kosher salt ( I found this bland, so we added more at the table)
1 tsp fresh black pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp chili flakes
2 broccoli crowns, chopped
1/2 cup coconut milk
In a large dutch oven, mix together the lentils, ginger, garlic, tomato paste, cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric, salt, pepper, chili flakes, and 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil then turn down to low and cook until the lentils begin to fall apart, about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the lentils are nearly done add the broccoli and cook another 10 minutes or so until tender. Remove from heat.
Stir a few spoonfuls of coconut milk into each bowl before serving, unless you don’t expect to have leftovers, in which case you can add the coconut milk to the pot. I prefer to store, freeze, and reheat the soup without the coconut milk in it, to minimize the risk of it separating.
*Tip for using and storing tomato paste: Recipes often call for only a tablespoon or so of tomato paste, so what do you do with the rest of the 6oz can? Spoon it into a small freezer bag and flatten it into a uniform layer in the bag, then seal the bag. Use a butter knife to press divisions into the paste, creating a grid. Freeze the bag laying flat. Once it is frozen you can break off chunks along the grid lines to add to a recipe in any amount you need!
Homemade Flatbread serves 6 This is easiest in a bread machine or stand mixer with a dough hook, but you can do it by hand if you have to.
1 c All Purpose flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
1 package Active Dry Yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 c warm water
oil to coat the dough
Combine all the dry ingredients and mix. Turn on the mixer and add the water in a stream, stopping when the dough starts to look wet. Allow the dough hook to knead it until it becomes elastic and is no longer sticking to the sides.
Form the dough into a ball and coat it with oil. Allow it to rise in a warm place for one hour in a bowl covered by a damp cloth, until it has doubled in size. While it is rising, preheat your pizza stone to 450 (or baking pan in the oven, or you can use a grill, or grill pan on your stove).
When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and break it into 6 small balls. Work around each ball tucking the outside edges underneath as you go around until the ball is a firm, elastic disk. Roll each ball out flat using a floured rolling pin.
Bake the flatbreads in batches for about 6 minutes, flipping and flattening gently halfway through. If grilling, grill 2 minutes per side until they have puffed up.