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Cook1 hr 40 mins
The roasted garlic adds a richness to the smoky heat of the chipotle peppers in this hearty(and yummy!) soup. It improves as the flavors delvelop, so go ahead and make it a day or two ahead! Adapted from Fields of Greens cookbook.
- 1 cup lentils (about 6 ounces)
- 6 cups cold water
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 fresh sage leaves
- 1 fresh oregano sprig (or marjoram)
- 1 head garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb fresh tomato (or 1 1/2 cups or 12 ounces canned tomatoes with juice)
- 1 red onion, diced (abourt 2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano, toasted
- 1 small carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced (or yellow)
- 1 teaspoon dried ancho chile powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon chipotle chile puree (Chipotle Pepper Puree)
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- To toast cumin (or coriander) seeds, place the whole seeds in a dry small skillet over low heat. Stir and shake until the seeds release their aroma and darken slightly, just a minute or two. Transfer to a bowl if you won't be grinding them right away, they will continue to cook if left in pan. Grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
- Sort and rinse the lentils and put them in a soup pot with the water, bay leaf, sage, and oregano. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook, uncovered, at a gentle boil for 15-20 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Remove the herbs.
- While the lentils are cooking, preheat the oven to 350*F. Rub the head of garlic with a little oil, place on a baking sheet, and roast for about 30 minutes, until soft. When the garlic has cooled, slice off the top of the head and squeeze the garlic out of its skin. Puree with the tomatoes in a blender or food processor and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, 1/2 teaspoons salt, cumin, and dried oregano; saute over medium heat until the onion is soft, about 7-8 minutes. Add the carrot and peppers and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the ancho chili powder and the chipotle puree, the pureed tomatoes, and 1 teaspoons salt; simmer for 10 minutes.
- Combine the lentils and their broth with the vegetables, cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Add salt to taste. For more spice, add more ancho chili powder or chipotle puree to taste. Sprinkle in the fresh cilantro and oregano just before serving.
Not sure how I stumbled on this recipe, but the name alone made it worth a try. I did, naturally, make some changes, but they were minor. I had no fresh herbs of any kinds, so I used dried. I only had a green bell pepper, which worked fine. And I omitted the cilantro because I just get tired of the cilantro overload in so many recipes. This was still a little more labor intensive than a lot of soup recipes, but it was worth it. The recipe itself was very well written, which is always a plus. It comes out quite thick, as a lot of lentil soup recipes do. Overall, the taste was lovely and hearty, especially for a vegan soup. Beautiful, Sharon!
Quite possibly the best lentil soup I've ever had. The consistency was so nice - not brothy like most but not TOO thick. The tomato added a nice thickness without it being too tomatoey. kwim? The only mistake I made (& it was a doozy) was that I doubled it. I decided to do this after I roasted my garlic & there wasn't time enough to roast more. The roasted garlic & chipotle added a fabulous flavor. The double batch needed more garlic. ;) I skipped the cilantro because i hate the stuff & only had dried herbs. Still the best around & the whole family was happy!