Monday, February 5, 2007

Indian Style Red Lentil Soup

This is an easy soup made with red lentils. It has a very southern Indian influence, but should not be considered authentic unless someone tells me otherwise.

This is the basic recipe, feel free to adjust or add spices (depending on my mood and the spices and time at hand, I will use whole or ground spices), the amount of broth (to make it thicker or soupier), etc. This makes about 11 cups of soup: enough for 4 large or 6 or more smaller portions (you can make half the recipe, but then you need to decide what to do with the half can of coconut milk). It freezes well.

Red Lentil Soup

  • 2 medium onions, chopped medium fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (or 1 teaspoon ground cumin)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • pinch cayenne (to taste or fresh chilies, I used green Thai chilies in this batch)
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 1 can coconut milk (light coconut milk is fine)
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste (or 1/4 cup tomato sauce, or some chopped tomatoes - fresh or canned)
  • 2 quarts-ish chicken broth or vegetable stock, or a blend of broth and water
  • 1 lime

Saute the onions until softened and starting to brown. Add the garlic and saute one more minute. Add spices and saute one minute.

Add lentils, coconut milk and 1 1/2 quarts broth. Simmer soup 30 - 45 minutes, adding more broth for a soupier consistency as desired. It's done when the red lentils have dissolved into the soup and they do not feel grainy or sandy when you try some.

Squeeze the lime's juice into the soup. Taste and correct seasoning with salt and pepper.

To serve: Top with a dollop of yogurt and chopped cilantro.


Eric Faulkner said...

I am fortunate to have received a sample of this from Mary :) and it's fantastic! It's exotic and familiar at the same time. I'm snagging this recipe

I'll think I'll try it with a squeeze of fresh lemon at serving time.

Sunday Cook said...

Yes - it's very good with a squeeze of something fresh at mealtime - thus the artfully placed lime wedge in the picture. It's not just food styling, it's actually how we eat. :-)

Tracy said...

I made this soup for dinner tonight and it was fantastic! Thanks for the recipe - it very easy to make.

Sunday Cook said...

Thanks Tracy - I love this soup and try to make it often. Another big plus with it - not only is it easy to make, it freezes well so you can make a big batch all at once to enjoy later!

Xinul said...

Thanks for the recipe. It's just delicious!!!! I loved it and my parents too. Indian cuisine is the best!

Anonymous said...

Easy & delicious recipe. Restaurant-quality flavor. Used 48 oz low sodium chicken broth plus water as needed. Had the requisite black mustard seeds and other spices whole so I partially ground them. Then added a touch more spices at end.

Safe Cook said...

I love Indian dishes! So tried to cook this in my pure clay pot and turned out fantastic. The lentil was soft and flavorful and not mushy or grainy. Most importantly my pure clay pot holds all the nutrients in the food and cooks the food evenly. I loved it.

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