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Red Lentil Soup

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This vegetarian soup from India is so full-flavored that you won’t miss the meat. We like to cook with lentils because, unlike with many other dried beans, you don’t have to plan ahead to soak them overnight, and they cook quickly. This soup makes a great entrée if you reduce the amount of liquid used to 2 cups, don’t puree the soup, and serve it over rice.

4 servings

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 1 hour

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursehot appetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, kosher, lactose-free, low cholesterol, low saturated fat, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Equipmentblender

Mealdinner, lunch

Moodblue

Taste and Texturegarlicky, herby, savory, spiced

Type of Dishhot soup

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 4 small dried red chiles, such as piquin, chiltepin, or de arbol
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup red lentils, picked over
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
  • Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat a heavy stockpot or saucepan over medium-high heat, add the oil, and when hot, add the onion and mustard seeds and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and chiles and continue to sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the coriander, cumin, and turmeric and heat for an additional minute.

  2. Add the broth, lentils, and potato to the stockpot and heat to just below boiling. Simmer the soup for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the lentils and potatoes are very soft.

  3. Put the soup in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

  4. Strain the soup back into the pot and reheat.

  5. Ladle the soup into individual bowls, garnish with cilantro or parsley, and serve.

  6.  

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