Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lentil Soup

Hey all!

This is one of my favorite recipes and it changes every single time I make it. Ever in the search for the perfect combination of spices and aromas, the following is a good starting point when I'm in the mood for some lentil soup.

I have also used the following raw spices (to varying effects) in other iterations of this recipe: fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds, white peppercorns, star anise, cloves, powdered cayenne pepper, allspice pods, green cardamom pods and fennel seeds - although never all at once as this would blur the flavors of the individual elements. I prefer to use whole spices and grind them with a spice grinder or mortar and pestle just before use as this brings out the full flavor of the spice.

Inset shown with swirl of plain yogurt.

  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Garlic, thinly sliced
  • Dried chili peppers
  • Lentils
  • Almonds
  • Cinnamon
  • Black peppercorns
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Cumin seeds
  • Mustard seeds
  • Roma tomatoes, diced, optional
  • Yogurt, Greek style, optional
  • Lemon, optional
  1. In a stockpot, sauté the onions, garlic and chili peppers until the onions are tender
  2. Mix in the lentils
  3. Add enough water to appropriately handle the amount of lentils you put in (directions for cooking lentils are usually on the lentil bag)
  4. Salt the soup, if desired
  5. In a spice grinder, grind the almonds, cinnamon, black peppercorns, red pepper flakes, cumin and mustard seeds
  6. Add the spice mixture to the pot and mix well
  7. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce heat until lentils are very tender (20 - 30 minutes depending on the type of lentils used)
  8. Reserve a ladle or two full of lentils from the pot
  9. Using a stick blender (or regular blender if you do not have a stick blender), puree the soup
  10. Add back the reserved lentils
  11. Add the tomatoes to the soup (if using) and simmer for a few minutes
  12. When the soup has achieved desired thickness, remove from heat
  13. Mix in a good amount of yogurt, if desired
  14. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon and freshly made naan
Peas out!

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