Spicy Lentil Soup
Lentil soup has an unfortunate reputation of being nutritious and inexpensive—but boring. Nothing could be further from the truth! Spiced up, it can be a real taste sensation.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
6 ounces red lentils, washed
5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Plain yogurt for accompaniment (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds, and when they begin to pop, add the onion and cook until golden.
- Stir in the garlic, carrots, and celery, and cook gently for 10 minutes. Add the remaining spices and cook 1 minute, then add the lentils.
- Pour in the broth. Add the bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for one hour.
- Remove the bay leaf and, in batches, process the soup to a purée, using either a blender or food processor. (Caution! Hot liquids create steam which will blow the top off the blender! Be sure to securely hold blender lid down!)
- Return the purée to saucepan and gently reheat the soup.
- To serve, ladle hot soup into bowls and place a dollop of plain yogurt on top.
Makes 6 servings.