Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Curried Lentil Soup

Two soup recipe posts in one week? It must be January. But while the broccoli cheddar soup I told you about on Monday is more of a rich indulgence, this lentil one lies on the opposite end of the soup spectrum. I guess the word I can best use to describe it is "wholesome."

I've actually had lentil soup on the brain for the past couple of months and have even gone so far as to bookmark about five or so recipes with every intention of making them. But for some reason it wasn't until I read Molly Wizenburg's column in the December issue of Bon Appetit that I finally got around to it. Maybe I ended up making this version because her description of the soup was so mouthwatering, or maybe it was just because I had all the ingredients on hand. Either way, I'm glad I did it because this soup lived up to every letter of Molly's beautiful description. I think it's going to become a winter staple around these parts.

Curried Lentil Soup (from

One quick note about this recipe: use a curry powder you like. I used the generic yellow stuff simply marked "curry powder" because I had it sitting in my cupboard, then added some cumin and cayenne pepper to give it more kick, but I really wish I had used something with a little more smoky depth to it. It would have made this soup even better.

(Image via

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped, divided
2 tablespoons (or more) curry powder
1 cup French green lentils (I found mine in the bulk section of Whole Foods)
4 1/4 cups (or more) water, divided
1 15- to 16-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges

1) Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.
2) Add half of chopped garlic; stir until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 4 minutes longer.
3) Add 2 tablespoons curry powder; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
4) Add lentils and 4 cups water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5) Increase heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
6) Meanwhile, puree chickpeas, lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining garlic in processor.
7) Add 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.

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