This soup was the best introduction to lentils! Not only is it delicious and spicy, but it is beyond easy to make. So easy in fact, that I have made it a couple of times before I got to blogging about it!
You will find the recipe written out at the bottom of this post.
So, my adventures into the world of lentil soup began like this….a collection of ingredients. I should note here that the second time around, I added ingredients to the recipe which included a chopped zucchini, cubed potato and a dash of garam masala.
The recipe specified the need for green lentils. So before I even began to create this soup, I learned that red lentils and green lentils are very different and serve different purposes. For this soup I highly recommend green lentils as they maintain their shape even after becoming tender. The original recipe calls for a medium carrot…but a bag of small ones is all I had on hand so I made a “medium carrot”….
The onion and ‘medium’ carrot are to be chopped and sautéed until tender, along with half of your garlic and a bit of oil.
A quick note about garlic: When I see garlic listed in a recipe…I tend to ignore the # of cloves it calls for. Instead, I think about how much garlic I am in the mood for…when is the last time I had some yummy garlic…how much garlic do I have in the kitchen…and then I cut up a ton of it! So feel free to follow the suggested 3 cloves in the recipe (which is technically inaccurate as the original recipe called for 2!) or decide how garlicky you wish to be and just go with it!
Once the sautéing veg/garlic is tender, add your curry powder and stir it slightly so as to cover everything.
It’s at this point that you add your lentils and water (all but 1/4 cup) and bring everything to a boil. The moment it hits boiling, turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 45 minutes-ish…until your lentils are as tender as you want them.
In my last blog entry, I commented on multi-tasking in the kitchen and how I’m discovering that practice is desperately needed to do so effectively. Well, this soup allows for a fairly structured, non-chaotic multi-tasking.
While your soup simmers … oh, which will look like this by the way:
You move to the other side of your kitchen and start preparing the second half of this awesome dish!
It is my opinion that this second half of the recipe is absolutely imperative! I’m sure the soup would be lovely once simmered, but likely somewhat watered down. When you add the following mixture, the soup acquires this yummy creaminess that enhances the flavours and warms the palate.
In a separate dish, add your chickpeas, lemon juice, water, remaining garlic (or hey, chop up more! :D) and oil.
Ensure the dish is fairly deep because, as you can see, you’re about to blend it all together and I know (sadly, from experience) that the deeper=the better=less mess!
Once you have a well-blended mixture … which looks and smells quite a bit like hummus … you add it to the finished soup along with a dollop of butter. Yeah, I said dollop. I like my butter like I like my garlic. In huge amounts! 😉
This mixture thickens the soup and adds a new dynamic to the smell and the taste. I find it hard to put into words but let’s just say that this soup is a perfect winter soup. It makes you want to curl up with a good book in your cozy papasan chair (Don’t have one? Go! Go now! I’ll wait. *grin*), preferably in front of a fire…if you have the option…and simply relax.
Once added and stirred in, your soup is complete!
CURRIED LENTIL SOUP
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tbsp (or more) curry powder
- 1 cup green lentils
- 4 1/4 cups water
- 1 large can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
NOTE: The second time I made this soup, I added zucchini, potato and some garam masala spice. It turned out just as lovely as the first time so I encourage you experiment with the recipe!
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pot over med heat.
- Add onion, carrot and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Add half of the garlic and continue stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to brown slightly.
- Add 2 tbsp curry powder and stir for another minute until fragrant and vegetables are covered.
- Add lentils and 4 cups of water.
- Increase heat to bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer until lentils are tender, 3o-45 minutes, depending.
- While your lentils simmer, use a hand blender and puree the chickpeas, lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, remaining garlic and oil.
- When lentils are tender, add the chickpea mixture and butter to the soup.
- Season to taste using salt, pepper, curry powder.
- Serve in a bowl garnished with green onions slices.
Source: I am presently hunting for the magazine article that provided me with this amazing recipe. Once found, I will most definitely be crediting the person who wrote it.