Thursday, June 21, 2012

Red Lentil Soup

My copy of Moosewood is secondhand, and over this recipe the previous owner wrote in "****". Who am I to ignore four stars? I had most of the ingredients on hand, so I made it for lunch. My three year old wasn't so interested, but my husband and I loved it. Four stars indeed.

Red Lentil Soup from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped [I substituted garlic scapes from my CSA]
  • 2 slices fresh ginger root, each about the size of a quarter
  • 2 medium carrots (1 cup grated)
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes, or 1 medium fresh tomato, chopped (undrained)
  • 1 small red or green bell pepper (1/2 cup finely chopped) [I left these out]
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 Tbls olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • pinch cayenne
  • 2 Tbls fresh lemon juice
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • dollop of plain yogurt (optional)
     Sort and rinse the lentils. Put them in a soup pot with the water, bay leaves, garlic [scapes], and ginger. Cover and place on high heat.
     Prepare the carrots, tomatoes, and bell peppers, and add them to the pot. Bring to a boil, stir, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 mins, until the lentils are tender.
     While the vegetables simmer, saute the onion on medium heat in the olive oil in a heavy skillet for about 10 mins or until browned. Add the cumin, coriander, and cayenne and saute for another minute, stirring to prevent sticking. Remove from the heat. When the lentils are tender, remove the bay leaves and ginger from the soup pot. Stir in the sauteed onions and the lemon juice. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Top each bowl with a spoon of yogurt, if desired. 
I served this with the carrot herb salad from the same cookbook, using cilantro instead of parsley, and adding the teaspoon of cumin noted as a variation.  Seemed to make sense, serving them together;  if you use a food processor it's no more trouble to grate ten carrots than two.

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