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This is my variation of a soup recipe from Sundays at Moosewood. It's always a hit when I make it and I once even had an offer to package it and sell it in a New York City coffee shop.
- 1 cup dried lentils
- 5 cups water or 5 cups really good beef stock
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 2 cups roughly chopped onions
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes
- 1⁄2 teaspoon hot chili powder
- 2 (10 ounce) packageswhole frozen leaf spinach or 2 (10 ounce) packagesfresh Baby Spinach
- salt & pepper
- 2 slices bacon, chopped (optional)
- 1 cup sour cream (optional) or 1 cup Greek yogurt (optional)
- Rinse lentils and bring to a boil in 5 cups salted water or stock. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 40 minutes.
- While lentils boil, in a separate stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté onions and the optional bacon. When the onions just begin to soften, add garlic, cayenne, bay leaves, cumin, coriander and chili powder. Cook for a few minutes, but don't allow garlic to brown.
- Add tomatoes and crush with a spoon to your desired consistency. If lentils are ready, add them to the tomato mixture now. If not, take tomatoes off heat and wait for lentils.
- Once lentils have been added to the tomatoes, simmer for 15 minutes over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. You may also want to add some more spices if you like a little more kick to it.
- Add frozen spinach and cook another five minutes. If using fresh spinach, only cook for two minutes.
- If wanted, serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream.
- The lentils do soak up a lot of liquid, so for reheating, you may need to add more stock.