We’ve been trying to eat from the pantry the past few weeks. Today’s Persian Inspired Lentil Soup comes from a pack of red, split lentils in the pantry and some homemade chicken stock I had in the fridge. I was trying to duplicate a recipe from a favorite restaurant. The end result, while good, wasn’t quite the same flavor. No one turned it down though, which is always a good sign!
I used red lentils because I had them on hand. They’ll cook down to a mush if you let them go long enough. I was hoping the soup would retain the color, but the seasonings caused a color change. In which case, any kind of lentil will work for this. Process the soup with a stick blender before serving if you want a smoother soup. Alternately, use a blender, being careful of the hot liquid.
You’ll notice the familiar ingredients of onions, carrots, celery and garlic on the list. This is mire poix and I wrote a post about how you can make a batch and freeze it. Use a cup if you have some available.
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cups lentils
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- 1 stalk of celery, finely diced
- 2 – 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (less is more)
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh lemon slices
- sliced green onion or fresh chopped parsley for garnish
- plain yogurt
- Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven or soup pot.
- Add the red pepper flake, onions and garlic. Saute for a couple minutes.
- Add the carrots and celery. Saute until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Pour in the stock and lentils. Bring to a gentle boil.
- When the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and add the cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
- Continue to simmer until the lentils are very tender (the length of time depends on the type of lentils).
- Use a stick blender to make the soup smooth.
- To serve, pour the soup in a bowl and add a dollop of plain yogurt. Garnish with the parsley or green onion.
- Squeeze some lemon slices over the soup if desired.
I love lentils, can you tell? I should probably devote a category to them.
This soup would be awesome with homemade flatbread.