Sunday, April 27, 2014

Red Lentil Soup


This is a really simple but satisfying soup that I love to make and freeze in serving size batches. When I get a hankering for simple and delicious meal, I just pull some out of the freezer, and fry some onions while it is heating up. So yummy!



I discovered red lentils a few years ago. They seem extra special, and a little more flavorful, than brown lentils. They are a beautiful orange-ish red, and turn yellow when cooked. They may be a little more difficult to find than brown lentils; I looked at three stores before finding them at Meijer.

The celery leaves, especially if they are nice and dark, add great flavor. I had a bunch frozen from my CSA, but when I ran out, I used finely chopped celery. This is one recipe I'd like to try using lovage in, which I'm told tastes just like celery. I'm growing lovage (or at least, attempting to) this year, so hopefully I'll get the chance to find out later in the season!

One bowl (okay, maybe two bowls) of this soup keeps me happy all afternoon. For a hungry girl like me, that is an accomplishment. :)



Red Lentil Soup

Ingredients
2 T. olive or coconut oil
2 c. finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriander
8 c. vegetable stock
1 3/4 c. dried red lentils
2 carrots, finely chopped
1/2 c. coarsely chopped celery leaves (I have subbed finely chopped celery several times)
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (I found I didn't need any at all!)

Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and coriander; stir for about 30 seconds.

Stir in 6 cups of the vegetable stock, the lentils, carrots, celery leaves, and red pepper flakes. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 cups of stock and the lemon juice. Season to taste.

Garnishes:
2 T. olive or coconut oil (I only used a teaspoon)
1 large onion, thinly sliced

Simply slice the onion thinly and cook it in the oil until very tender and lightly browned.
pita chips (I just cut up a pita bread, brush with olive oil and bake until crisp)

Top each bowl of soup with a small mound of cooked onions and a pile of broken up pita chip. YUM!





Source: A Beautiful Bowl of Soup by Paulette Mitchell (this is not an affiliate link)

2 comments:

  1. I love it! Red lentil soup is a staple in Turkey. It is made only with red lentils cooked until it disapears into a yellow soup and served with lemon wedges and red pepper oil sauce (melt some butter and add red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, i like to burn it a little).. It is served virtually in every restaurant and at homes. It is my go to soup when I have someone over. While the only red lentil version is very easy my favorite version is my late grandmother's take on it with carrot and rice. It is especially good when the carrot is sauted before hand gives that golden color to the oil. Very yummy! I will cook some tonight!

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    1. Oh yum, Nihal! I will be trying your versions, too! I love the simplicity you described, of just the lentils, and then lemon and pepper oil served with it. And your grandma's version with rice...mmmmm. Okay, now my mouth is watering! :)

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