Did you forget to make lunch and are scrambling for things to make? Chances are you have all of these ingredients, and 30 minutes to wait to create this delicious soup. That’s how we ended up with this beauty today…
I love to make a dal, and I have a golden dal recipe that is the talk of the town. Aaron cites it as one of my top recipes of all time. That recipe is relatively quick, but requires some finely chopped vegetables that I really didn’t feel like bothering with this afternoon. After staying in bed until 10 am for the first time in a long time, I was discombobulated and suddenly it was 1pm and lunch was not even a thought.
Scrolling through Instagram, I stumbled across a couple of French chefs, and saw one of them had posted a lentil soup. Reflecting on our last grocery delivery from a mutual aid group, which included a bag of red lentils, I thought “A HA !” So I gathered my spices, measured out some lentils, and got to work.
Really, it was no work at all. As you may recall, I love my spices, so I took some red pepper flakes, turmeric, cumin, garam masala, and ground coriander and mixed them together, 1 tsp of each (except the peppers, only 1/2tsp works for that). I added some extra garam masala in the end for another boost of flavour, but 1tsp of each is plenty. I measured about 50g of lentils for us each, and then a bit extra for seconds – so 125g total. That was more than enough.
Aaron did the hard work – chopping up and onion and 15g of fresh ginger, then squeezing some garlic on top. We heated a pot with 3Tbsps of olive oil in it and added the fresh chopped vegetables. Once they were softened, we added in all of the spices and cooked for about 2-3 minutes, until nice and fragrant.
That little red dabble on top is the next step – 1 Tbsp of tomato paste squeezed into the onion mix, and then add your lentils into that. Before any water comes near this recipe, it adds so much flavour to mix the lentils in dry and let them soak up all the excess spices that are happening with the onion mix. So, add the tomato and lentils !
Mix it all well, until the lentils are coated and the tomato paste has disintegrated a bit. Then, add about 750mL of water. Bring this mix to a boil and then let it simmer for about 35 minutes on medium heat. The lentils will soak up the liquid, but if you notice there is too much liquid lost, don’t be afraid to add more over top – remember it’s a soup, not a dal ! (I mean, dal is technically lentils so it is technically dal, but it is not a thick dal recipe…) At this point, add more spices if you see necessary. I added another teaspoon of garam masala.
Ideally, you would let this mixture just sit in its juices and marinate for a few hours, to ensure all of the flavours really develop. You could even leave it overnight. Aaron and I were happy to tuck in, as it still had loads of flavour. This is a super simple recipe to prep ahead for meal planning, and it can be kept in the fridge or the freezer to extend its life. Just reheat and serve.
Now, to serve, a dollop of Greek yogurt here makes all the difference. I ground up some black pepper as well, and sprinkled the bowl with salt. Chop up some fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves and top with those as well. We had some sourdough bread with olive oil and salt as a little side boost.
And voilà – lunch, dinner, meals for a week, plenty of food to share ! This would also make an excellent starter soup for a multiple course meal if you want to impress your friends. But to really impress them, try and leave it overnight to develop some extra goodness.
Red Lentil Soup
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 15g ginger, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp each of turmeric, cumin, garam masala, ground coriander
- 1 Tbsp of tomato paste
- 50g of lentils per person (125g for 2 + leftovers)
- 750 mL of water, add more as needed
- for serving: Greek yogurt, chopped coriander, salt & pepper
- Chop onion, garlic, and ginger. Add 3 Tbsp of olive oil to a pot and get hot, add the chopped ingredients and cook until softened.
- Add spices, mix, and cook 2-3 minutes.
- Add lentils and tomato, mix until well coated.
- Add the water, bring to a boil, and let simmer for about 35 minutes.
- Let it sit for a few hours or overnight for the flavours to develop, reheat before serving. OR serve immediately with preferred toppings.
And there you have a simple lunch or dinner, starter, or meals for the week! It has so much potential and you have plenty of room to experiment within this recipe. Give it a try, and let me know what you think !