extra virgin olive oil, divided
( about 1 1/2 cups)
garlic cloves, minced
reduced-sodium vegetable broth
( or chicken broth)
1 1/2 cups
red lentils, rinsed
( see Tip)
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cumin; cook for 1 minute.
- Add broth, lentils, bulgur, tomato paste and bay leaf; bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cover and cook over low heat until the lentils and bulgur are very tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.
- Ladle about 4 cups of the soup into a food processor (or blender) and puree. Return the pureed soup to the soup pot and heat through. Stir in lemon juice and season with pepper.
- Just before serving, ladle the soup into bowls. Heat the remaining 4 teaspoons olive oil in a small skillet and stir in the paprika and cayenne. Drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon of the sizzling spice mixture over each bowlful and serve immediately.
- TIP - You can replace red lentils with brown lentils; add 1/2 cup water and simmer 40 to 45 minutes.
- MAKE AHEAD TIP - Prepare through Step 3. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months.