Spiced Lentil Soup

I really enjoy lentils....and I'm grateful that I do. Because not only are they super-healthy for you, they are also a great medium for all sorts of flavors and textures...and not just vegetarian recipes. Anyhow, a purveyor at work gave me a couple pounds of these lentils as a sample (pictured above)...beautiful aren't they? I made the below soup recipe for staff lunch today...it was so good (if I do say so myself) I had a double serving. It's also really easy to make. And while I used the above multi-colored lentils, any lentil will do...some just take longer to cook than others. The spices I used (pictured below and also listed in the recipe) are also interchangeable...add or subtract whatever suits your personal taste. And listed at the bottom of this post are a few links of other easy and  delicious lentil recipes.

Spiced Lentil Soup
Makes about 3 quarts
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon whole fennel seed
1 teaspoon whole coriander seed
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 pound lentils (about a cup)
3 cups diced tomatoes
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup lemon juice

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy soup pot. Add the onion, carrot, bell pepper; saute until translucent but not browned. Add the garlic and saute another minute. Lower the heat and add the curry, paprika, cumin, turmeric, fennel, coriander, and salt. Stir the spices for about a minute to bring out their flavor, than add the lentils; stirring to coat with the oil and spices. Add the tomatoes and broth; bring the soup to a boil then lower to a simmer. Cook the soup for about 30 minutes, then add the lemon juice. Continue to simmer the soup for another 30 minutes, or until the lentils are very soft. If too much liquid evaporates add more as needed.

 For other lentil recipes on this blog follow these links: