I love this Thai red lentil soup from Yotam Ottolenghi because it is spicy, creamy, and substantial. Combining red lentils with Thai ingredients is really creative and demonstrates the genius of Ottolenghi. This is one of my favorite soup recipes.
The Thai flavors come from the addition of red curry paste, Kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk, lemongrass, and lime juice.
I used homemade red curry paste. I like to make a big batch of curry paste and freeze it in small portions. I found a fairly straightforward recipe from Simple Thai Food by Leela Punyaratabandhu. Homemade curry paste is much better than store-bought, but if you don’t have the time or inclination to make the curry paste at home, commercial curry paste will do just fine.
This is a quick recipe and does not require a complicated stock. It’s a great soup for lunch or dinner. The addition of slivered sugar snap peas and chopped cilantro as garnishes adds a nice fresh vegetable element.
What I Would Change
The original recipe serves this soup with an aromatic chile oil drizzled on top. I have made the soup with and without the chile oil. The soup tastes great without the chile oil, but if you have the time, making the chile oil gives the soup an added kick and some depth.
This recipe calls for soy sauce. However, I think that if you wanted to boost the Thai flavors, you could probably substitute a good quality fish sauce for the soy sauce. It will no longer be vegan, but will probably taste amazing. I’m planning on trying the fish sauce substitution the next time I make this soup.