Friday, October 17, 2008

Red Lentil Soup

This is a wonderful soup. It cooks quickly, tastes good, and gives you a big serving of your veggies for the day. We have it frequently, usually with biscuits. I adapted it from Extending the Table, the successor to the popular More With Less Cookbook. In ET it is called "Spicy Lentil Pot." My changes: less lentils and water to suit our family's size, 2 boullion cubes instead of one for better flavor. Leave them out if you're allergic to MSG.
2 carrots
1 green bell pepper (using a red one gives the soup an even more beautiful red color)
1 onion
2 tomatos or 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
5 – 8 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1 cup orange lentils
4 cups water
2 chicken boullion cubes (optional)
2 t. ground cumin
1 ½ t. salt
¼ - 1 ½ t. ground red pepper or Tabasco or other hot sauce

1. Coarsely chop carrots, onion, and tomatos. Place in a large soup pot. (If substituting tomato sauce, do not add it until after the lentils are cooked.) Add garlic, lentils, and boullion cubes (see picture above). Add water.
2. Cover and boil 20 – 30 minutes without stirring.
3. Cool slightly and strain or puree. The puree step is not absolutely necessary, but I’ve tried it both ways and I think the pureeing is important to that extra-good taste that makes you want to make this soup again and again.
4. Return the pureed soup to the pot and add cumin, salt, and pepper or hot sauce. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors.
Serve with bread or rice. Yoghurt and/or lime juice make good toppings.


Amy said...

i love this one too. Great job on the blog. you take really good food photos, which isn't easy to do. I'll be stopping by often. Recently i've made two from ET - Mung Beans and Rice, which i've been making for years and finally tried Chickpeas in Coconut milk. Even though i accidentally cooked away all the milk and got some crispy burned parts, it was still very good. I used my crockpot for the chick peas and that worked great.

Jen said...

Thanks Amy! It's Dec. 26 and I just discovered this comment, to my delight.