Ok, I promised you something healthy after all those cookies and here it is. Believe me, it’s worth the wait. I found out about this recipe from my friend, Anne, who is an incredible cook. After every amazing meal that she cooks everyone oohs and aahs over her creations and she always, always responds by saying, “Oh, it’s so easy.” This is generally met with wide eyes because it’s often clear that it’s certainly not easy by most people’s standards. This soup is an exception. It is in fact very easy and it’s very delicious and it has quickly become one of our go-to recipes for when we don’t know what else to make. It’s easy, it’s healthy, the ingredients keep well for a while, and you can even make it ahead of time, which is just what we did the other night when my sister was coming into town.
It’s a good thing we did, because her flight got in an hour late and we were getting pretty hungry by the time we got home from picking her up. But luckily we had made this soup the night before and Joseph had set the bread maker earlier in the day. We came home to a house filled with the scent of fresh baked bread and all we had to do was throw the soup in a pot to heat up, slice the warm bread, and pour a nice Albariño. It is the perfect remedy to a cold Boston night!
Curried Lentil Soup
Adapted from Bon Appetit
The original recipe calls for French green lentils and at Anne’s suggestion, we make ours with red lentils. I’ve had it both ways and like both, but especially like it made with the red lentils. I was skeptical about all the water used and was tempted to use vegetable stock, but trust me, it doesn’t need it. I also increase the amount of lemon juice quite a bit because I love lemon and I really like the extra juice. If you’re less sure about all that lemon, you don’t have to put it all in, especially if you’re serving with the lemon wedges so people can add more if they want. Joseph likes it with a dollop of sour cream, but personally, I just like extra lemon.
This soup can be made a day in advance. Just cool, cover, and refrigerate after you’ve simmered it for 30 minutes. Reheat, adding water as necessary to reach the right consistency, and serve with lemon wedges and green onions.
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped, divided
3 tablespoons (or more) curry powder
1 cup red lentils
4 1/4 cups (or more) water, divided
1 15- to 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges for serving
sour cream, for serving (optional)
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add half of the chopped garlic and stir until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 4 more minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of curry powder and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the lentils and 4 cups water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Increase the heat and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, puree the chickpeas, lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining garlic in a food processor.
Add the chickpea puree and butter to lentil soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional curry powder, if desired. Add water by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency.
Divide the soup among bowls and sprinkle with thinly sliced green onions. Serve with lemon wedges and a dollop of sour cream, if desired.