With spring just around the corner, Chef Susan Delbert of The Fourth Estate Restaurant at the National Press Club offers a delicious recipe to prepare you for warmer temperatures and brighter days.

Coconut Lentil Soup

This soup is good chilled or hot. One can make it with all sorts of lentils, but red or green lentils give the finished soup a nicer color. The apple pieces as garnish are the best. A dab of sour cream would not hurt. Either basil or mint leaves look (and taste) great as a garnish. Have fun with this; make it your own.

  • Rinse 1# lentils in colander. (Red lentils work best; green are ok; brown gives soup a bit of a beige finish)
  • Place in saucepan with about 2 inches of water to cover. Do not salt water
  • Bring to slow boil. Cover. Turn heat to low and simmer, just below boil about 15 minutes.
  • Drain well, rinse and return lentils to saucepan, which has been cleaned
  • Combine lentils with
  • a. 2-3 cloves peeled garlic
    b. Walnut sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
    c. 2 can Coconut milk (not crème de coconut used for Pina Coladas)
    d. 1-2 peeled and de-seeded apple, cut in chunks (a tart apple works best)
    e. 1-2 teaspoons Garam Marsala, or curry powder
    f. Water to about 1-2 inches above all ingredients.

  • Simmer about half hour. Try not to bring to boil.
  • Check apple and garlic to assure softness and puree with stick blender; or puree in blender.
  • Add salt and pepper and adjust to taste.
  • Garnish with Chopped Apple (green apple is nice), chopped red onion, fresh basil or mint and lime zest and juice.
  • Enjoy this sophisticated, yet simple soup. Yum!

Susan Delbert joined The Fourth Estate Restaurant at the National Press Club as Executive Chef after working at The Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, D.C. as Sous Chef for several years. Delbert has worked in several Washington restaurants, including The Oval Room, BeDuCi in Dupont Circle and Gerard’s Place. She started her culinary career as a Front of the House Maitre d’ in Clyde’s of Chevy Chase. She trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., where she graduated at the top of her class. She was an invited participant in an Italian regional cooking program sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission.


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