Curried Cauliflower Lentil Soup

I’m just going to keep rockin’ with these Meatless Mondays, because vegetables are damn good for you.  The boyfriend wanted to try some new recipes this week, and I’ve had this soup recipe book that I picked up from a magazine rack almost a year ago.  Most of the soups are creamy or have meat in them, so our selection is limited.  We’re not vegetarians.  We will eat meat when we go out, but at home where we have ultimate control over our meals, we have chosen to cut out most meats.  Last night’s new recipe called for curry powder and turmeric, which I’m always excited to use.  The yellow curry powder you get at the grocery store already has turmeric in it, which I didn’t realize when I bought the first jar of turmeric, so I never opened it.  Then I forgot I already bought one and had a second unopened jar.  I need to use this stuff!

On to the recipe!

Curried Cauliflower Lentil Soup from Betty Crocker

3 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
2 medium carrots, chopped (3/4 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (2/3 cup)
3 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups dried red lentils, sorted, rinsed (you don’t have to use red lentils, my store didn’t have any; red lentils will make it “pretty” but any lentils will do)
8 cups low sodium vegetable broth (original recipe calls for 7 cups chicken broth, but it’s not much of a soup and there’s only 1 cup left in the carton, so why not use it all)
2 medium sweet potatoes (1 1/4 lb), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
3 cups coarsely chopped fresh cauliflower florets
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. In 5-quart Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook onions, carrots and bell pepper in butter about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender. Stir in curry powder, turmeric, salt, pepper and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  2. Add lentils and broth. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover; cook 10 minutes. Stir in sweet potatoes. Cover; cook 10 minutes. Stir in cauliflower. Cover; cook 5 minutes longer or until lentils, potatoes and cauliflower are tender. Stir in cilantro.
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via bettycrocker.com

Don’t worry if you don’t have a real Dutch oven.  Just use a large pot with a lid.  If you’re using a thin stock pot, reduce the time for cooking the onions, carrots and bell pepper.  It takes much longer for a cast iron Dutch oven to heat up, but the heat will be evenly distributed, whereas a thin stockpot heats up very quickly and can have hot spots that may burn the butter and spices if you follow the time listed for this recipe.  A Dutch oven will also retain the heat better when you reduce the heat of the burner.  It takes about three more minutes of simmering at the end to get everything tender.

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