Spiced lentil coconut puree

What a year it's been: There were some highs and some very low lows, but I'm feeling pretty grateful on this New Year's Day. I'm also glad that we have a do-over tomorrow because I already broke some of my resolutions, one of which was to post things in a more timely fashion...

I read a few years ago that eating lentils on January 1st is considered good luck in Italy and Brazil because the roundness of the lentils symbolizes money. Ha! We won't be eating any lentils this year because our Whole 30 started today, which will get its very own post tomorrow. But M will be eating them! This puree is delicious and based on one of my all-time favorite lentil soups. It includes a lot of different spices, so if you want to tone it down a bit, feel free to choose one or two. (Tumeric, thyme, and cinnamon are the heavy hitters, but if I had to choose one, I'd go with thyme. Or tumeric. It's hard to pick.)

This is a gigantic recipe, so if you don't plan to freeze all or part of it, make half. However, it freezes well and also tastes amazing thinned out with chicken stock as a pureed soup.

Spiced lentil and coconut puree

Adapted from A Beautiful Plate (Seriously, make this soup)
1 large cooked sweet potato (about 10 oz)
1 cup dry Green lentils (about two cups cooked)
2.5 cups water
4 oz cooked chicken
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch cloves

Preheat oven to 400. Wash, dry, and using a paring knife, poke lots of holes in a large sweet potato. Roast until tender, about 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can microwave your potato for 8-10 minutes on high covered with a wet paper towel. Here is a great guide to cooking times for different sweets and yams.

While the potatoes are cooking, sort and rinse the lentils. Combine lentils and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until water is absorbed and lentils are tender, about 35 minutes. Alternatively, you can cheat and use 2 cups of Trader Joe’s precooked lentils like I do sometimes.

When the lentils and sweet potatoes are cooked, combine them in the blender with 4 oz of cooked chicken. I use leftovers or a combination of light and dark meat from a rotisserie. Add the coconut milk, water, and spices and blend until you've reached your desired consistency. This tends to be a thick puree, so don’t be shy with adding water or stock later to thin it out a bit more.

Yield: 4.5 cups or 40 oz