When the weather starts to get chilly, I’m always on the lookout for a good, comforting soup recipe. Although I hated them as a child, I now love lentils (perhaps there’s hope for my boys?) and I’m always willing to try a highly recommended lentil soup recipe. This one was very tasty (I loved the fresh lemon – it really brightened the flavor of the soup) and the color reminds me of fall. I’m not as fond of the brownish color of soups when regular lentils are used. This is definitely a good comfort soup, perfect for the fall and winter.
I love lentils because they’re full of protein, minerals and fiber. They’re so good for you.
4 Tbsp. olive oil, plus additional good oil for drizzling
2 large yellow onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. kosher salt, or more to taste
A few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper, or more to taste
2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups red lentils, picked through for stones and debris
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
Juice of 1 lemon, or more to taste
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
In a large pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Add the onions and garlic and cook until golden, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the broth, 2 cups water, the lentils, and the carrots. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Continue to cook until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste, and add more salt if necessary. Using an immersion or regular blender, puree about half of the soup. It should still be somewhat chunky, not completely smooth. Reheat if necessary, then stir in the lemon juice and cilantro. Serve the soup drizzled with good olive oil and dusted very lightly with cayenne, if desired.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings