How to Cook Red Lentil and Coconut Soup With Black Rice

by Sara Paul Raffel

This soup is based on a recipe from Deborah Madison's new cookbook, Vegetable Literacy. If you omit the dollop of yogurt on top, it is vegan.


  • 1 ΒΌ Cups Red lentils
  • 2 Tablespoons Sesame oil
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon Curry powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground cumin
  • 2 Teaspoons Mustard seeds, black or yellow
  • 15 Ounces Light coconut milk
  • 4 Cups water
  • 3 Limes, juiced
  • 3 Cups Greens, such as spinach or chard
  • 1 Cup Black rice
  • Sea salt
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Yogurt (optional, for garnish)
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Gather your ingredients.

    Step 2

    Dice the onion.

    Step 3

    In a large soup pot, warm the sesame oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft.

    Step 4

    Add the turmeric.

    Step 5

    Add the curry powder.

    Step 6

    Add the cumin.

    Step 7

    Add the mustard seeds.

    Step 8

    Stir well, and cook for another couple of minutes.

    Step 9

    Add the lentils.

    Step 10

    Add the water, coconut milk and the sea salt, to taste.

    Step 11

    Bring to a boil, then partially cover and lower the heat. Cook until the lentils have broken down and are smooth, about 20 to 30 minutes. Give them a good stir periodically.

    Step 12

    While the lentils are cooking, you can make the black rice.

    Step 13

    When the lentils have cooked, add the greens. Cook them for a minute or two, until tender. Don't over cook!

    Step 14

    Add the lime juice, to taste.

    Step 15

    To serve, place the lentil soup in a bowl and top with a large spoonful of black rice, some red pepper flakes, black pepper and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.