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I love red lentils and this is a mildly spiced vegetarian soup. feel free to add more spices, or substitute basil if you don't like cilantro
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 ounces red lentils, rinsed
- 8 cups chicken broth or 8 cups vegetarian broth (commercial broth or diluted cubes)
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons mango chutney or 2 tablespoons tomato chutney
- 2 teaspoons salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄3 cup sour cream or 1⁄3 cup plain yogurt
- In a 6-quart heavy bottom pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Stir in the onion, reduce the heat and cook for a few minutes without burning the onion.
- Add the garlic, ginger root, jalapeno, curry, cinnamon, cumin and bay leaves and cook, stirring for 2 more minutes.
- Add the lentils and broth; bring to a boil.
- Cover, reduce the heat and cook at a gentle boil for 45 minutes or until the lentils are cooked.
- Remove and discard the bay leaves.
- Stir in the cilantro, lemon juice and chutney.
- Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Just before serving, reheat the soup; If the soup is thicker than you like, thin it with more broth.
- Garnish the soup with dollops of sour cream or yogurt.