Saturday, March 3, 2012

Egyptian Red Lentil Soup

Satisfying with delicious exotic flavors. It also happens to be vegetarian and vegan friendly too.

Be sure to find mid-Eastern red lentils, they are different from the regular brown kind.  Many better grocery stores have them, check the bulk found section! I found my package at a large Asian supermarket that also has a Middle Eastern/Indian aisle.

This soup comes together in a snap, about 30 minutes from start to sitting at the table.  Served with a green salad it made a very nice dinner  with lots of leftovers to take for lunch.

This recipe was originally featured in Food & Wine February 2012.
But I made some changes, because that's what I like to do! 

Serves 6-8

2 Tbsp olive oil (or butter)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
3 celery ribs, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
2 cans (14 oz each) diced tomatoes and their juice
2 cups red lentils
Juice of one lemon
2 tsp lemon zest
8 cups water, or broth
Salt and pepper

In a large pot, add the oil (or butter) and cook  the onion, carrots, celery, jalapeno and garlic over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander and chile powder and cook until fragrant, 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and zest, tomatoes, lentils and 8 cups of water.  Simmer over moderately low heat until the lentils are very soft, 30 minutes.

It looks pretty good as it is, I wish I had chopped the veggies more consistently, it would have been nice to eat it "chunky".  Next time?

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender, or use a stick blender. Season with salt and serve with lemon wedges and warm pita. Non-vegans may want to try a dollop of plain yogurt on top of their soup.

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