Saturday, January 24, 2009

Red Lentil Soup

I love eating soup in the wintertime. I bought some red lentils on a whim a LONG time ago, and I figured it was time to use them up. This soup was really tasty, but next time I would add more spice. I adapted this recipe from the New York Times.

3 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling
1/2 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of ground chili powder or cayenne, more to taste
1 quart vegetable broth (or chicken broth if you prefer)
3 cups red lentils
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 green pepper, diced
3 Tbsp lemon juice, more to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (I used dried)

In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes. Add tumeric and stir until onions are coated.

Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder or cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes longer.

Add broth, 3 cups water, lentils, carrot, celery, and green pepper. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.

Using an immersion blender, regular blender, or a food processor, purée half the soup then add it back to pot. Soup should be somewhat chunky. (I used an immersion blender, and I gotta say, that is one nifty little gadget! I think the soup would be fine without pureeing it though.)

Reheat soup if necessary, then stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Drizzle with good olive oil and dust lightly with chili powder if desired.

Serves 4 with leftovers.

No comments: