Saturday, August 4, 2012

Red lentil soup

Red lentil soup is found in many cuisines ranging from India to Africa to the Mediterranean. Most of them contain onions, tomatoes and some spices and are great. But this one is light and easy for the summer - tastes great at room temperature or warm. The lentils are cooked and then stirred with softened garlic slices and some red pepper flavored oil. I like to make my soup 'soupy' in the summertime - hence you can adjust the water based on how thick you like your soups.

Red lentil Soup

⅔ cup red lentils
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 small cloves of garlic
⅓ teaspoon red chili flakes
⅛ teaspoon turmeric for color(optional)
1 tablespoon canola oil or 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Lemon juice to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley or cilantro leaves

1. Wash the red lentils and cook in a pot over medium heat with 2 cups water and salt till the lentils are completely cooked (around 20 minutes). [I like my lentils to have some texture and not become like glue.]
2. In a small pan, add the canola oil or butter and the sliced garlic and cook over low heat for 7 minutes till the garlic begins to soften. Now add the red chili flakes and the turmeric and cook for another 2 minutes to flavor the oil or butter with the chili flakes.
3. Add the garlic and chili mixture to the cooked lentils.
4. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or cilantro before serving and add lemon juice to taste.

Serves 2 with bread as a light lunch

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