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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Curried Lentil Soup

One day last year I came down with a stomach bug after having a delicious bowl of lentil soup.  I swear it had nothing to do with the was just terrible, terrible timing.  Since then, I have not wanted anything to do with lentil soup even though I truly do love a good bowl of lentil soup - so healthy and tasty.  In fact, this mushroom lentil soup is one of my favorites.  So in order to get over that bad and unfortunate association my brain is now making between pain and lentil soup, I need to make one with an entirely different flavor profile.  So goodbye mushrooms and thyme and hello curry and chickpeas!  This recipe did just the trick.  I made a few small changes.  I added a little bit of chicken broth for some more flavor and I halved the butter.  Other than that, it was perfection.  Adding pureed chickpeas to thicken it is genius.  You could easily make this vegan by replacing the butter and chicken broth with vegan alternatives.  I know I'm over the stomach bug connection because I didn't want to stop eating it and I just can't wait for lunch tomorrow.

Curried Lentil Soup
adapted slightly from Bon Appetit

3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced and divided
2 Tbsp curry powder
1 cup green lentils, rinsed
4-1/4 cups of water
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 15.5 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add half of chopped garlic and stir until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 4 minutes longer. Add the curry powder and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add lentils, 4 cups of the water, and the chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat and bring to a boil.  Then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes (taste them to make sure they are done - if they aren't, then let them go longer until they are).  Meanwhile, puree chickpeas, lemon juice, remaining 1/4 cup water, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining garlic in a food processor.  Add this chickpea puree to the soup and stir until incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the butter.  Serve hot with some naan bread.

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