Gluten-free cooking: Red lentil sweet potato soup
Caroline Byron brings a unique spin on gluten-free eating, by recreating traditional meals and also French delicacies using gluten-free ingredients, without sacrificing the flavour.
• 5-6 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
• 1 large yellow onion, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated or minced (easiest to grate on a microplane)
• 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped with ribs removed (optional)
• 400 grams dried red lentils (14 oz)
• 1 tablespoon dried cumin
• 1 tablespoon turmeric
• 1 tsp coriander
• 2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into large chunks
• 1 14 oz can coconut milk (I prefer the creaminess and richness of full-fat, but you can also use the light coconut milk)
• 1.5-2 litres vegetable stock
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 2 fresh limes, one juiced, one cut into wedges to serve
• Additional salt and pepper to taste
• Fresh coriander, chopped to garnish
1. Preheat oven to 175° C.
2. Place sweet potato chunks on a baking sheet and lightly coat in a tablespoon of coconut oil and slightly season with salt and pepper.
3. Roast in preheated oven while you prepare the lentils - for 15 minutes until tender and lightly caramelised.
4. Heat three tablespoons of the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent.
5. Add the aromatics to the onions- the fresh ginger, garlic, jalapeno, sea salt, freshly ground pepper and spices and sauté an additional few minutes until the mixture is aromatic, being careful not to brown the garlic by lowering heat slightly.
6. Stir in the vegetable stock and lentils and bring mixture to boil, then lower heat to simmer covered for 10-15 minutes.
7. Add the coconut milk and lime juice to the lentils and stir to combine.
8. At this point the sweet potatoes should be finished roasting. Add them to the lentil soup and cook the mixture uncovered for another 5-10 minutes, until the lentils are soft and all the flavours have melded together.
9. Taste and add salt and pepper accordingly. If you prefer the soup thinner, add extra vegetable stock to thin.
10. To serve, ladle the soup into bowl and top with the fresh coriander. Serve alongside a wedge of fresh lime and enjoy.
Caroline is a former model turned gluten free chief. The journey began shortly after she called it quits in the modelling world, upon her acceptance to The French Culinary Institute in New York. While cooking and eating decadent French cuisine everyday, Caroline experienced a lot of the symptoms and issues that led to her gluten-free lifestyle. Shattered by this discovery and with an immense love for food, Caroline decided she had to recreate everything she loved using gluten-free ingredients and her inventive and creative mind!