Ever since I first tasted Syrian Lentil Soup, years and years ago, I fell in love. That soup was made with regular brown lentils, rice, spinach, garlic and lemon juice. Years later I learned from family who worked in one Mediterranean restaurant was that commercial ascorbic acid provided the sharpness that I never could duplicate at home; lemon juice isn’t as sharp. But, still delicious. Over the years, I’ve read and heard about red lentils, french lentils, green lentils, yellow lentils, and now I’ve recently read about white lentils. The only place I’d run across them was at Whole Foods, and never felt life paying their prices. At least, not for that. However, last week, I was at my local IGA, Acquistapace’s, and they had recently stocked red lentils and green lentils. So, since I’m trying to incorporate more of these lovely legumes (I love them for breakfast), I went ahead and picked up a bag of each, and a bag of regular lentils.
Today, I made the Red Lentil Soup. This is my second batch, the first went quickly. I made a lot, so I’d be sure to have some for the freezer. I love this soup. It is light, yet filling, and easy on the stomach.
Red Lentil Soup:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil and/or butter
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups water, stock, or a combination of the two.
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 cups red lentils
- 1/2 cup rice
- juice of one lemon
- yogurt or sour cream
- cilantro or parsley
Mince the onion, ginger and garlic (or process coarsely in mini-food processor), and saute until translucent in olive oil/butter. Add stock, rinsed and sorted beans, rice, cumin, turmeric, and paprika. I cooked this batch for about 2 1/2 hours, not even at a simmer. As the starch in the lentils breaks down, it is quite easy to scorch. Thus, it also requires a good stirring every 20 minutes, more often at a higher temp. Add water and/or stock as needed. I probably added another quart, because I wanted a juicy soup! Taste for salt and add as needed. I added 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Makes about 6 quarts. Freezes well.