Thursday, December 23, 2010

Red Lentil Soup

Another soup recipe! I'm logging it here so I don't forget because it was a big hit. I really liked this soup and it was pretty easy. I know it looks like it has a lot of ingredients, but it really comes together rather quickly. Mr. Heart even liked it and he was a bit wary when I initially proposed the meal. Be generous with the salt and liberally squeeze fresh lemon juice in right before eating. It really adds something that takes this soup to the next level. I used chicken stock, but this could easily be vegetarian.

Red Lentil Soup
inspired by 101 Cookbooks and Orangette
Serves 4 as a main course

1 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
3 small shallots
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground coriander (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin (ditto on taste)

1 1/3 cup of red lentils, sorted and rinsed
1/2 cup brown rice, sorted and rinsed
6 cups chicken stock, vegetable broth, or water (I used half chicken stock, half water)
sea salt to taste (I probably used one or two teaspoons)

1 heaping tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp cornstarch
1 TBS water

1 lemon, cut into wedges

1) In a heavy bottom soup pot, heat initial TBS of oil until shimmering. Add onion, shallots, and red pepper flakes. Sauté over medium heat until they begin to soften and brown, about 4 minutes. Add 1/2 tsps of coriander and cumin and mix until the onions are coated. Cook another minute or so until fragrant.
2) Mix together garlic, tomato paste, and remaining tsps of coriander and cumin in a small bowl. Set aside. Mix together cornstarch and water in another small bowl until incorporated. Set aside.
2) Add stock/water, lentils, and rice to pot. Season lightly with salt. Heat until the soup is just about to boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Lentils will break down and turn into a delicious mess.
3) Heat remaining tsp of oil in a small pan. Once warm, add garlic mixture to pan, being careful to keep the heat low so as not to burn the garlic. Let the garlic and spices sizzle for 30 seconds - 1 minute until they take on a little color and become fragrant.
4) Add warm garlic mixture and cornstarch slurry to soup and stir to blend. Cook the soup uncovered for another 10 minutes. Season liberally with salt to taste.
5) Serve with lemon wedges. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over soup as you eat it. Goes great with pita :)