From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I like to make a huge pot of soup to use for meals or meal supplements during the holiday season. I must admit that in our house meals served in the week between Christmas and New Year are usually nothing more than glorified leftovers. We celebrate both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so there are lots of odd bits left in the refrigerator. I've found that a bowl of soup can tie them together and make for a more substantial meal as we pick our way through the leavings. I like that soup to be hearty and a change of pace from the meat laden soups I usually serve. That is tricky when the lord of the manor is a committed carnivore who has a tendency to recoil, vampire style, at the sight of beans or lentils. Over the years, I've found a few meatless soups that he does not object to. This red lentil soup, which by the way stays red, is one of them. It is a light, yet spicy dish that is painless to make and is as tasty as it is good for you. If you're looking for a soup to serve during the holidays, you might want to give this one a try. It has some texture and the lemon helps offset the more standard chili flavors. Here is how it is made.
Red Lentil Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of the New York Times
3 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of ground chile powder or cayenne, more to taste
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 cup red lentils
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1) In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes.
2) Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder or cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes longer.
3) Add broth, 2 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.
4) Using an immersion or regular blender or a food processor, purée half the soup then add it back to pot. Soup should be somewhat chunky.
5) Reheat soup if necessary, then stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve soup drizzled with good olive oil and dusted lightly with chili powder if desired. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
One Year Ago Today: Two Years Ago Today:Christmas Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette Orange Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Three Years Ago Today: Four Years Ago Today:Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake Brioche Loaf for Sandwiches