Tight Wad in Utah: Red Lentil Soup

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Red Lentil Soup

I love easy, inexpensive, healthy recipes!  I used Aarti's Red Lentil Soup recipe from the Food Network with some minor modifications to what I had in my home.  So Yummy!!

  • 2 cups red lentils (in Utah, find them at WinCo, Good Earth, Whole Foods)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 4 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Tempering oil:

  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp black mustard powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp paprika  
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Handful chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Makes 6-8 servings


Put the lentils in a strainer and rinse them under running water. Add them to a bowl, cover with water and let soak for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a medium saucepan heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil and once warm add  the onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes. Once they have been sauteed, add mixture above plus 4 cups of water and the lentils to a stock pot.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. DO NOT ADD SALT YET; it will toughen the lentils, thereby lengthening their cooking time. Lower the heat, cover the pot with a lid and gently simmer until the lentils are tender, almost translucent, and almost falling apart, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Whisk the lentils, releasing its natural starch, and mash some them so the mixture becomes thick. Add salt, to taste.

Tempering oil: In a small bowl, combine the spice powders. Have all the ingredients ready because this will move very fast!  In a small skillet, over a medium-high flame, warm 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the spices. They should sizzle and bubble a little - that's the blooming and it's exactly what you want. Don't let them burn. The mixture should bloom for about 30 seconds, no more.

Pour the oil mixture into the lentils, standing back so you don't get hurt when the mixture splutters again. Stir to combine. (If you feel you left behind too much of the spices in the skillet, add lentils to the skillet and wash out the spices - then add all back into your stock pot.)  Transfer the lentils to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro.

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