Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Red Lentil Soup

Not sure where to start when it comes to cooking Indian food? Truth be told – me either. But I just discovered lentils. They’re kind of like curry … but not. That didn’t make any sense. I guess you’ll just have to try it yourself. But I do know that this recipe is so flavorful and packed with spices you’ll wonder why you didn’t discover lentils before. And the fact that it’s a healthy dish is a bonus!

Red Lentil Soup
Serves 4

1 cup red lentils, washed and soaked for 1 hour, drained
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, diced
1 green Serrano chile, split and seeded
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon paprika
Kosher salt
Honey, to taste
Chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish

In medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the drained lentils, onion, tomato, chile, ginger, garlic and enough water to cover. Bring to boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Whisk the cooked lentils to release some of their starch and break them down further.

In small sauté pan, warm the canola oil over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook until they are sizzling and spluttering. Stir in the turmeric and paprika. Pour the seasoned oil into the lentils (be prepared for a big sizzle). Stir to combine, add salt, to taste, and a small drizzle of honey. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with cilantro.

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