This is a recipe for basic lentil soup. See the bottom of page for a more flavor complex recipe from Cook’s Illustrated.
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin or 1/2 tsp of freshly ground cumin seeds
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Cook onion in oil with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.
- Add garlic, cumin, bay leaf, and thyme and cook, stirring, 1 minute more.
- Add lentils, broth, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until lentils are very soft and falling apart, about 30 to 45 minutes.
- Discard bay leaf and thyme sprig. Whisk vigorously to break down and puree the lentils, or use an immersion blender.
- Garnish with cilantro and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Untested recipe to try…
Red Lentil Soup with North African Spices
Recipe by Cook’s Illustrated
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 10.5 oz red lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1.5 teaspoon dried mint
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add onion and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add coriander, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon 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.
- Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in small skillet. Remove from heat and stir in mint and paprika.
- Soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Thin soup with water, if desired, when reheating.