We had an absolutely fantastic experience during our recent trip to Alaska. Needless to say Alaska is as pretty as the pictures portray… mmm.. sorry….take that back…. I would rather say… pictures never do justice to the amazing beauty of Alaska 😇
Alaska has the best seafood scene, but for us vegetarians choices are limited. Now-a-days ‘beyond burger’ and ‘impossible burger’ have made their way to many a restaurant menu… the less I talk about them … the better. I am not a fan of either one of them 🤫
Nonetheless what really surprised me were 2 restaurants that stood out with what they could accommodate for us…. there are times when even large metro area restaurants struggle with such requests.
Let me share an interesting experience before delving into the soup recipe. A simple truck stop outpost – 60 miles north of the Arctic circle – Coldfoot, Alaska – The town serves as a stopping place for those driving the Dalton Highway. A simple cafe whose menu did not have the listed ‘burger’ available that day. We requested the chef to prepare us something vegetarian. We were completely floored – what we expected was a regular grilled cheese sandwich, what we got was a grilled vegetable sandwich with onions, colorful peppers and mushrooms. A simple truck stop could whip up a wholesome meal with the limited ingredients they had on hand…. all it takes is some creativity 😜
Now for the Curried Lentil Soup…
Long Rifle lodge and restaurant – overlooking Matanuska glacier near Anchorage AK. This place had several vegetarian options, one of them stood out – Curried Lentil Soup. What better to savor after a 2 hour hike on a glacier – IT WAS COLD 🥶
This lentil soup was unique in that it was made with whole pink lentils with skin. We have seen many a lentil soups with pink lentils and I have used whole pink lentils to make several dhalls….
Here is my ode to these lovely eateries who make the effort to always take care of vegetarians.
Enjoy my version of Curried Lentil soup – made entirely in the Instant pot. Yet another wholesome, one-pot meal. We paired it with homemade Zucchini muffins.
Curried whole Lentil soup
- Instant Pot
- 2 cups whole Pink Lentils whole Masoor dal
- 2 cups Vegetable broth
- 1 Shallot finely chopped
- 1 Potato diced
- 10 Baby Carrots diced
- 1 inch Ginger grated
- 1 pod Garlic finely chopped
- 2 sprigs Curry Leaves
- 1 tbsps Curry powder
- 2 tbsps Olive oil
- Cilantro leaves for garnish finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- Start the Instant pot on SAUTE mode
- Add olive oil, add the shallots n garlic and saute for 2 minutes to get a nice aroma
- Add all the other ingredients and set to COOK on high pressure for 5 minutes
- After cook time is completed, let it cool down for 15 minutes
- Open the Instant Pot carefully and set lid aside, let it rest for 5 minutes
- Now with an immersion blender, carefully blend for just 2-3 rounds.This ensures the soup becomes thick but at the same time keeps most of the vegetables intact
- Enjoy hot soup with savory muffins
- NOTE – if a smooth soup is desired, blend completely using the immersion blender.