Friday, February 25, 2011

Curry Red Lentil Soup


I love lentil soup. Lentils are an excellent source of plant based protein with lots of fiber, so they fill you up and give you energy. I always feel so healthy after eating a bowl of lentil soup and I make it a lot. I make it lots of different ways to keep it interesting. Using different types of lentils, spices, and vegetables ensure that I don't get bored. This particular soup is really great because the red lentils don't need any soaking and they cook really quickly. They break down nicely, making a very creamy soup. There's only a few ingredients in this soup, but it certainly isn't lacking in flavor. Believe me when I tell you that my entire house smelled like an Indian restaurant when I made this. Not that I mind that or anything. Be sure to taste it throughout the cooking process and don't be afraid to add salt, because the salt really brings out the curry flavor. If you like heat, add some cayenne pepper. Stir in some cooked wheat berries at the end or serve it over brown rice if you want some grains. And enjoy it with sauteed greens or a nice salad and you have yourself a great meal.

Curry Red Lentil Soup
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbs freshly grated ginger (you may use powdered, but fresh is best)
2 or 3 large carrots, finely chopped
olive oil
salt
11/2  tbs curry powder (more or less to taste)
2 cups red lentils
6 cups of water
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Dollop of plain yogurt (optional)

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil and add chopped onion and a pinch of salt. Let the onion soften briefly, then add garlic, ginger, and curry powder and stir for about 30 seconds or so to coat the onion with the curry (this will smell fantastic, by the way). Add the chopped carrots, lentils, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until the lentil are cooked and they start to break down, about 25 minutes or so. You may need to add some more water, as the soup gets very thick. Feel free to add some cayenne pepper and don't forget to add salt. It makes a world of difference. Ladle into bowls and top with a dollop of plain yogurt to cut the heat and add some creaminess.
Makes about 5 servings



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