I absolutely love red lentil soup. I have made several versions and I have always been pleased with the results. It’s easy, healthy, and delicious. This version was incredibly creamy. I loved the pop of color from the flavorful toppings too.
This recipe was adapted from America’s Test Kitchen. I modified the proportions. We ate it with a green salad and warm naan- a perfect light dinner. Vegetable stock can be substituted for the chicken stock for a vegetarian version.
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
For the Soup:
- 4 T unsalted butter
- 2 large onions, chopped fine (I used a food processor)
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch cayenne
- 2 T tomato paste
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 cups chicken stock (I used 4 cups chicken stock & 4 cups homemade turkey stock)
- 4 cups water
- 21 ounces (3 cups) red lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 4 T (1/4 cup, about 1 lemon) freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus extra for seasoning
For the Topping:
- 4 T unsalted butter
- 3 tsp dried mint, crumbled (I omitted it)
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
To Make the Soup:
- Melt 4 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add onion and 2 teaspoons salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add coriander, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in broth, water, and lentils and bring to simmer. Simmer vigorously, stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft and about half are broken down, about 15 minutes.
- Whisk soup vigorously until it is coarsely pureed, about 30 seconds. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt and extra lemon juice to taste. Cover and keep warm. (Soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Thin soup with water, if desired, when reheating.)
To Make the Topping:
- Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in small skillet or in the microwave. (I only did 1/2 of the topping because I froze 1/2 of the soup!)
- Remove from heat and stir in mint and paprika, as desired.
- Ladle soup into individual bowls, drizzle each portion with spiced butter (about 1 teaspoon), sprinkle with cilantro, and serve.