Spicy Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk
Serves 2 with a bit left over for lunch

1 1/2 cups red lentils
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp Tom Yum paste
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 can coconut milk (approx 7 ounces)
1 bunch beet greens (or chard or spinach), chopped
the juice of half a lime
few drops of chile oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
salt to taste

Over medium-high heat, dry toast the lentils, curry powder, and Tom Yum paste briefly in the bottom of your soup pot. When the curry is aromatic, add the broth, coconut milk, and greens and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the lentils are soft, probably 20 to 30 minutes.

Blend the soup until smooth and then put it back in the pot and add the remaining ingredients. Cook until the soup is warm and all tastes are balanced.

If you don't have any Tom Yum paste try adding something a bit spicy - more chile oil, chile sauce, chopped hot peppers, or another type of Thai chile paste. You want to achieve that level of spice that just pleasantly warms the back of your throat but doesn't bring tears to the eyes.