Do you have these in your pantry? If not, you should. They are red lentils and they are packed with nutrients.
My friend Alta showed me a red lentil soup recipe from Melissa Clark. It sounded good to her and as she knew how much I liked lentils, she thought I might like to try it. She was right. It's delicious! It's also fast and easy, and with the exception of the red lentils, I had all of the ingredients in the pantry. I made a few changes to the original recipe, including using a beef /chicken broth blend. This hearty soup has with a bit of a kick. It also freezes well and will be just the thing to pull out of the freezer some busy cold winter day in December. My version of Melissas' recipe is below.
Red Lentil Soup with Lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of ground chili powder or cayenne
2 quarts chicken or 1 ½ quarts chicken and ½ quart beef broth
2 cups water
2 cups red lentils
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
Juice of ½ lemon, or to taste
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Heat the oil in a large pot over high heat until oil shimmers. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until golden, stirring constantly, about 4 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, salt, pepper, and chili powder or cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes more.
Add the broth, water, lentils, and the carrots. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover the pot and turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
If you wish to, you may blend or mash ½ of the soup. (I like mine chunky and opted not to blend it).
Reheat the soup; then stir in the lemon juice and herbs. Serve the soup drizzled with a good finishing olive oil and dust lightly with chili powder if desired.