I was doing some Christmas shopping with my husband the other day and we stopped for lunch at a cafe that opened a couple of months ago in Lincoln Center. The cafe is called American Table by Marcus Samuelsson. It’s cafeteria style in that you place your order at a counter, then you find a seat. Once you’re seated, your food is brought to you. We each had a sandwich. I had pulled pork and my husband had meatballs. Both delicious. We also shared a squash soup. I LOVED the soup. It had squash, corn and a splash of fresh lime. It was so delicious that as soon as I got home, I searched for the recipe online. I couldn’t find it, but I did find this other Marcus Samuelsson soup recipe.
My husband and I both loved this soup. It has a lot of flavor with the lentils, coconut milk and fresh lime. I didn’t have a red chili on hand so I tossed in 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes instead. This soup has just joined my soup rotation. With a piece of crusty bread it’s really delicious, and healthy too.
Homemade soups are surprisingly easy to make, and they’re much better for you than canned soups because they’re not loaded with salt, and they also don’t have any preservatives in them. As an example, Campbell’s Lentil soup contains MSG. Yikes!
If you’re in the Lincoln Center neighborhood, definitely try American Table. It’s a great place for a quick lunch. The setting is beautiful.
I typically end posts with reporting on how many of my four boys tried my dish. What’s your guess? One? Two? Nope. Zero, as usual. Wouldn’t you think you’d be sick of peanut butter sandwiches after all these years?
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Spiced Coconut Lentil Soup
Recipe by Marcus Samuelsson
1/2 large red onion (I used a quarter of a colossal one)
1/2 red chili
1 heaping teaspoon of minced ginger
1 clove garlic
1 cup red lentils
1 can coconut milk (14 oz.)
3 cups water
1 scant teaspoon vegetable bouillon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
juice of 1 lime
1 heaping teaspoon of coconut oil
Finely chop the red onion. Heat the coconut oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion, cover and allow to soften for several minutes.
Meanwhile, mince the chili, garlic and ginger together. Add to pan, cover and cook for a few more minutes until the flavors begin to blend.
Rinse and sort the red lentils and add to pan along with the ground coriander, paprika and cumin. Mix thoroughly and then pour in the coconut milk and water. Sprinkle in the vegetable bouillon and lightly season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Cover, bring to a boil, then lower to a gentle simmer for forty minutes, stirring frequently.
Juice the lime and set aside.
When the lentils have softened and almost disintegrated to form a thick, creamy soup, take off the heat, pour in the lime juice, taste for seasoning and serve with a few fresh coriander leaves for garnish.
One year ago: Mint Chip Cookies
Two years ago: Green Beans with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette and Parmesan Breadcrumbs