As anyone who has read this blog with any regularity can attest, I am a huge fan of soup. Both emotionally and physically, it makes me feel good. Another one of my culinary loves is Indian Food. The warming spices and the slow cooked, sultry taste of it always makes me feel both fiery and cozy at the same time.
This soup came about rather serendipitously, I must say. I had purchased some red lentils at the local farmers market in hopes of finally trying to cook them at home – I've really only made brown lentils in dishes at home. I had also recently run across a jar of Harissa at a gourmet store, something I had hoped to keep on hand around the house. Then, perusing the Cooking Light 2008 cookbook, I see this recipe for a light and not pureed lentil soup – neither of which I normally associate with soups of this kind.
The chunky texture of the soup gives all of the ingredients ample opportunity to shine without one overpowering the other. The soup comes together quickly – in about 40 minutes from start to finish. I added a little extra smoked paprika and harissa for a tad more heat. This would also be lovely with a little cumin-scented yogurt or creme fraiche for a little richer dish.
Chunky Dal Lentil Soup – recipe originally found here at Cooking Light – serves 5
* 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 1 teaspoon minced garlic
* 1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
* 3/4 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 3 cups water
* 1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and drained
* 1 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
* 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
* 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
* 1 teaspoon harissa
* Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
– Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 6 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in ginger, paprika, salt, cumin, and pepper; cook 1 minute. Add 3 cups water, lentils, chickpeas, and tomatoes; bring to a boil.
– Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice and harissa. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.