Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Eastern European red lentil soup

From Veg Times (thanks, Kel!) I am not sure exactly what's Eastern European about this -- it seems more Indian to me with the curry and the cumin, but whatever. It's savory and tangy and a little sweet. It also let me pretend it was fall for a night, even though it's almost 80 degrees here at the moment, which is hotter than it was during most of the summer. Again, whatever.

Also, I like thick soups and cut down on the amount of water -- I probably used 6 cups instead of 7, and my tomato didn't have as much liquid as a whole can of chopped tomatoes would. I didn't need to thin it out in the final step, either, although I probably will when we reheat the leftovers.

2 T olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 T)
1 1/2 red lentils
2 T ground cumin (I added some curry powder; the recipe notes say you can replace the supplement with curry, thyme or paprika)
1 15-oz can chopped tomatoes with liquid (I just chopped a leftover tomato from the garden)
1 T honey
3 bay leaves (I omitted)
1 T red wine vinegar
yogurt for garnish

1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute 5 minutes or until soft. Stir in red lentils and spices, and cook 1 minute or until spices are fragrant and lentils are coated in oil. Stir in tomatoes with liquid, honey, bay leaves and 7 c water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

2. Cover pan, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until lentils are soft and falling apart and soup is thick. Add a little water to thin soup, if necessary. Remove bay leaves, stir in vinegar, and serve with dollops of yogurt.

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