Growing up, I was a fairly picky eater. It wasn’t until I reached my late 20′s that I began to go beyond my comfort zone when it came to food. I told my mom I was making this soup, and I think she was a little shocked. Then again, she’s surprised that I now occasionally eat pork, chickpeas, and a host of other foods. Soup may actually be on that list, as well.
I’m a big fan of Michael Pollan, and having read both In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I’ve been making efforts to expand my culinary horizons and venture into the world of plant-based proteins. That brought me to lentils. I have to say, the lentils in my pantry have only served one purpose before today: pie weights. But, lentils are high in protein and fiber, and enough people seem to like them that I thought I’d give them a try.
I came across a highly rated soup recipe that seemed perfect for my experiment. So I embarked on a new culinary adventure. I do admit that I’m not sure what I think of it yet, but I am willing to experiment a little more with lentils.
Lentil & Tomato Soup
adapted from cooking light
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 1/3 c water
2 1/3 c dried lentils
1/3 c chopped fresh cilantro
5 1/2 c chicken stock
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
chopped fresh tomatoes (optional)
cilantro sprig (optional)
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion; sauté for 3 minutes or until tender. Add the turmeric and the next 6 ingredients (turmeric through garlic); sauté for 1 minute. Add water and next 4 ingredients (water through diced tomatoes); bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 1 hour.
Reserve 2 cups lentil mixture. Place half of remaining mixture in blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed soup into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with other half of remaining mixture. Stir in reserved 2 cups lentil mixture. Garnish with chopped tomatoes and a cilantro sprig, if desired.
Notes: The soup is okay. I think it needs more salt, but that could be because I used homemade stock instead of canned broth. I increased the black pepper a bit, as well. Next time I make it, I will make sure I have some turmeric on hand, so I can actually follow the recipe. Otherwise, it’s a nice change, it’s very filling, and I have a freezer loaded with soup for those days I run out of food and there’s yet another blizzard or ice storm.