Sunday, February 7, 2010

Vegan Red Lentil Soup

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I try to keep a supply of red lentils in the pantry. They're perfect for making a really quick soup that's hearty and filling but not heavy. Red lentils cook in about 30 minutes and there is a sweetness about them that can't be found in the green or black varieties. The real trick to this particular soup is the quality and flavor of the vegetable stock use to make it. A good commercial variety is fine, but taste carefully for salt. Lentils can be very bland and the minimal spicing used in this recipe demands a well-salted broth. This soup is very nearly a puree. If you prefer more texture, measure an additional cup of lentils and cook them separately in rapidly boiling water until they are just tender. To insure they don't over cook plunge them into cold water. Add them to the soup and heat through just before serving. While the lentils are a saffron red in their raw state they turn a most unattractive shade of mustard as they cook down. I use sweet paprika to make my soup more visually appealing. Not necessary, but nice. I suspect pimenton could also be used but that would produce a deeper and more smokey flavor. This soup is best eaten the day it is made. Like pea soup, it will thicken and will need to be thinned with additional stock or water if it sits. This recipe can be halved for small families or doubled if you are feeding a crowd. Here's the recipe.

Vegan Red Lentil Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 pound red lentils
8 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Optional garnish: 1/2 cup vegan yogurt

1) Heat oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot. When it shimmers, add onions and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in cumin, coriander, allspice, paprika and garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
2) Add lentil to pot and stir well to coat with spices. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into soup bowl. Garnish with yogurt if using. Yield: 6-8 servings.

You might also enjoy:

Vegan and Red Lentil Flan
Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup
Celery Soup


♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

I love lentils in soup and this recipe is very different from the one we make.....nic picture....

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

What a lovely soup. I've love lentils and have eaten the green, brown, and black varieties, but never red. I'll have to grab them the next time I see them.


Elisa said...

What a yummy recipe. I have only tried the green lentils at home but I believe the indian restaurant I visited served red lentils. As a vegetarian, this soup is a great source of iron.

And nice picture.

Katy ~ said... the red color. Thank you for the tip about adding paprika. I would have been dismayed at the mustard color (never made lentil soup before).

Chef Aimee said...

Wow the color of that soup is amazing! I love lentils and love this recipe. I rarely get red lentils, always green, but I think I want to try red!

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

Vegan soup, I have to try your recipe. Love the color.

Foodiewife said...

I need to broaden my horizons on lentils. I don't think I've ever worked with red lentils. I like the idea that this is vegan. We have a friend who eats a very restricted diet, so I bet this would please all of us. The aromatics are a perfect combination, and the paprika would be the perfect touch.

Denise said...

Thanks for stopping by Creative Kitchen & following! I LOVE your blog!! Your photographs are awe inspiring. I especially love the one from your kitchen window. WOW!! Definitely cooking inspiration!

I just recently tried the red lentils last fall. I had always cooked with the green. I like that they cook up a bit faster and fall apart more. The soup I made was like a dahl...very light and refreshing. I was surprised what the lemon juice did for it.

Coleens Recipes said...

Fantastic!! I don't think I've tried red lentils.

kate said...

wow, look at that, I'm already drooling, great color, looks delicious

The Muse said...

i find it very intriguing that the best cooks are very concerned about color and me that what makes them an artist!

DailyChef said...

I don't often get this tempted by a vegan recipe. You make it look SO good.

Glennis said...

Sounds delicious. I adore the French green lentils, but I also like dal, and this sounds like that.

Deb in Hawaii said...

I love a good red lentil soup and the color is always so pretty. Perfect for a cold night! ;-)

Alessandra said...

A great vegetarian classic! Thank you!!!!

Hootin Anni said...

You know how I love to come visit you and read your recipes and all...but today [I've been wanting to post this like....forever, and keep forgetting to do so]....your photography is like viewing a cooking magazine. So very professional looking and all!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog Saturday and leaving such a sweet, sweet comment.

Have a great week ahead.

NKP said...

What striking colour!
Red lentils are so handy to have on hand - I love them for their thickening properties.

Anonymous said...

Lentils in soup..How comforting.

Southerncook said...

Mary, I have never used Red Lentils before but saw some in Fresh Market the other day. Your post came at a good time and I did not know that they were sweeter than other Lentils. I think I need to try this recipe soon. Thank you for sharing and it looks to be a beautiful soup. Sounds delish too.

Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

Cathy said...

Lentil soup is one of my favorites, Mary. The spice combination you've used sounds wonderful and the color is so much more appetizing than pea soup green.

Anonymous said...

I have never used red lentils. I am not sure, I have seen them but I plan to look.

This is a nice hearty winter soup and we love soup.

Zurin said...

Brilliant coloured soup! and red lentils are nice :) pretty picture!

The Chef In My Head said...

Beautiful color! I just forwarded you recipe to a friend of mine, her husband loves lentils, all kinds and all colors. Have a perfect day ~LeslieMichele

La Bella Cooks said...

The color of the soup is just gorgeous but I love the cumin and coriander. So warming!

Melissa and Zack said...

that looks yummy!!

Unknown said...

amazing soup! I added some carrots and celery to give the soup some extra texture

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to thank you for this fantastic recipe. I don't even LIKE soup - I found this recipe looking for something to do with a bag of lentils. This soup is so fantastic that I went out and bought more lentils, just to make it again.

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