Spicy Lentil Soup

Lentil soupWhether you call this recipe ‘lentil soup’ or ‘dahl,’ its appeal has no ethnic boundaries. Make a large batch of this soup to enjoy for dinner one night and then freeze* the rest for future lunches or dinner. Serve with a kale or microgreens salad for a powerful dose of nutrition!

INGREDIENTS:

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 medium onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
4 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (if desired)
1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 bay leaves
12 ounces red lentils, washed and sorted
10 cups vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Croutons (made from whole grain bread)
Fresh cilantro sprigs, optional

METHOD:

In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds. When seeds begin to sizzle and pop, add the chopped onions and sauté until onions are beginning to caramelize and turning golden.

Add garlic, carrots, pepper and celery and sauté for 10 minutes. Stir in chile powder, turmeric, coriander and bay leaves and cook about 1 minute, stirring.

Add lentils and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 hour.

Remove bay leaves. Allow soup to cool slightly. In small batches, place soup in food processor (or blender) and process until smooth until most of the soup has been puréed, leaving a generous cup of lentils whole. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste. Rewarm gently. Ladle into bowls, top with croutons and a sprig of cilantro.

YIELD: 12 servings

*To freeze soup, place cool soup in 1 quart freezer bags. Add label with contents and date. Lay bags flat on a baking sheet in the freezer until frozen. Remove baking sheet. Now you can easily stack the frozen bags. When ready to thaw, place in bowl of cold water for about an hour or until slushy. 

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