This is a gorgeous recipe that nourishes through the mixed weather of a reluctant spring, as it is equally delicious come rain or shine. Spicy and hearty, the earthy flavours are lifted with the sweetness of carrots and the tang of lemon, to delight the taste buds. This is a soup I whip up at least a couple of times a month and handed out in a mason jar as a gift last week, to a friend who through snow or sunshine, runs daily with her dog.
Red lentils are quick to cook requiring no time consuming soaking and rinsing and are packed with fibre, vegetable protein and iron. Increasing fibre in the diet is a benefit to both the cardiovascular and digestive systems and iron helps to alleviate tiredness and that dragging feeling of overwhelm…..or is that just me?
At only 10 minutes into the pan for simmering, this soup makes a perfect, nutritious, mid-week supper, lunch box flask-filler or Saturday lunch.
- 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 chili powder or cayenne, more to taste
- 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro.
- 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.
- Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder or cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes longer.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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