This hearty, healthy red lentil soup is my answer to rest the body and soul. It is a perfect meal when you need a reset from food indulgence. But it is so easy, quick and tasty that one may need no specific reason to indulge in its warmth and flavours :). The red lentils sure are red when uncooked but they take on a golden yellow colour when boiled so while the name suggests that the soup should be red, it actually is sun-shiny yellow.
I had red lentil soup a lot of times during our travels in Morocco and Turkey. This was the most common vegetarian soup available there. Lentils are so essential a part of Indian cuisine that we practically eat lentil preparations with every meal but not really as soup but as daal, accompanied with rice or rotis. Lentil soup preparation is slightly different from a regular daal preparation. There are more veggies and spices. Garam masala and bay leaf gives the soup a more earthy, warm flavour.
Comfort in a bowl and comfort in the kitchen; it is a perfect weeknight dinner when you are feeling a bit tired to cook and eat a full meal and need some warmth.This soup hardly takes any effort. 30 mins tops and in that too most time is unattended. I would usually go for soups on Wednesdays as a middle-of-the-week cooking break but this time, after the very food heavy weekend, Monday itself seemed like Wednesday.
Red Lentil Soup
By Ashima Goyal Siraj
Preparation time: |Cooking Time: |Serves: 2-3
1 cup red lentils
3 tbsp olive oil
1 inch ginger, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
Salt to taste
2 tbsp tomato paste
500 ml vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp paprika powder
2 tsp garam masala
fresh parsley for garnish
- Wash and soak the lentils in about 2 cups of water. Red lentils are very soft so they don’t need a lot of soaking time. Do it as the first step and by the time it is time to put in the lentils, they would have softened up.
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a stock pot. When the oil is hot, add chopped ginger, carrots and onions. Add salt. Mix well and cook covered for 5 mins till the veggies are soft. I add ginger and carrots first and while they are cooking, I chop the onions and add thereafter. You may want to keep some chopped carrots and ginger to use as garnish.
- Add tomato paste and cook covered for a couple of minutes.
- Add red lentils along with the water they are soaked in, stock, bay leaf, paprika and garam masala powder. Mix well and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for about 15 mins till the lentils are so soft that they easily break when pressed with the back of a spoon. Add more water for the desired consistency. Remove from heat.
- Using a hand blender directly in the pot roughly blend about a half of the soup. The soup is nice when chunky and blending a part of it gives it a thick consistency.
- Stir in lemon juice and ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with fresh parsley, some chopped carrots and ginger to add an extra crunch.