I am learning a lot about lentils. There are so many kinds of lentils! I’ve cooked with brown, red and green lentils so far, but am always looking for the much talked about French lentils (puy lentils). Lentils are fast cooking, unlike dried beans which need to soak and cook for an hour plus and are great for vegeterians as they are high in protein (and iron and fiber!). But I mostly cook with them because they taste so darn good. This red lentil soup came from SuperSpark’s blog.
- 3 T.olive oil
- 1 large onion – chopped
- 2 garlic cloves – minced
- 2 T. tomato paste
- 2 t. ground cumin
- Pinch of ground chili powder or cayenne to taste
- 1 quart chicken
- 3-4 cups water *
- 2 cup red lentils *
- 1 large carrot – peeled and diced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes.
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 and carrot. 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 if necessary.
Using an food processor (or immersion blender if you are so lucky) purée half the soup then add it back to pot. Soup should be somewhat chunky.
Reheat soup if necessary, then stir in lemon juice and cilantro.
* I accidently added two cups of red lentils into the pot and then saw it only called for one cup. Oops! Then I added more water, tomato paste and spices. It still turned out great but would probably have been more flavorful if I had been able to add broth instead of water (I was out of broth).
Servings: 6 big bowls