Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Red Lentil Soup

Red Lentil Soup

Cooler evenings are upon us and I find that soups, even in Southern California, are a warming addition to any meal, in particular if you are trying to eat a vegan, plant based diet.  Lentil soups can be either very hearty, like a stew, or watery, like a clear soup.  I prefer the hearty style and this red lentil soup is hearty, heart warming and heart healthy.

Recipe after the jump

Red Lentil Soup

 4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large yellow onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
4 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. kosher salt, or more to taste
A few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
¼ teas cayenne or more to taste
2 quarts vegetable broth
2 cups red lentils, picked through for stones and debris

Juice of 2 lemon, or more to taste
Good extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

In a large pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Add the onions, garlic and the carrots 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 and the lentils.  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. Stir in the lemon juice and reheat if necessary. Serve the soup drizzled with good extra virgin olive oil and dusted very lightly with cayenne, if desired.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

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