Based on the recent Ottolenghi recipe in Bon Appetit, but slightly adapted with the addition of ginger, chopped dates, and Just Date Syrup for little bursts of sweetness in a spicy soup. We love sweet & spicy over here at JDS!
2 ½ cups red or black beluga lentils
5-6 cups of vegetable broth
6 bay leaves
1 yellow onion
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ tbsp finely minced garlic
1 ½ tbsp. finely minced ginger
2 tbsp your favorite curry blend (we love CURRY by Spicemode)
1 can coconut milk
16 oz crushed tomatoes (we love crushed dry farm tomatoes by Happy Girl Kitchen)
4 finely chopped medjool dates
1 tbsp. Just Date Syrup
Avocado for finishing
Cilantro for finishing
Aleppo chile flake or sumac for finishing
Place olive oil in stock pot or dutch oven. Saute onions over low-medium heat, for at least ten minutes, until they are a deep brown. The more you brown your onions (but not burnt or charred, instead deeply caramelized), the more flavor you’ll get in your soup! Add bay leaves, garlic and ginger, stir for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add curry blend and mix well. Add lentils and mix well. Let fry for 2 minutes, before adding crushed tomatoes and medjool dates. Let simmer for 5 minutes, and add broth. Stir well, bring to boil, and then reduce to simmer and cover.
Cook for about 20 minutes (potentially more) until lentils are tender but not mushy. Add coconut milk, just date syrup, and 1 tsp kosher salt. Mix well until warmed through. Add salt to your taste. Top with sliced avocado, cilantro, and a big sprinkle of Aleppo chile flake and sumac.