Sunday, July 21, 2013

What's Cooking: Red Lentil Soup

When I lived in Brooklyn, I used to go to an awesome Middle Eastern restaurant in Fort Greene called Black Iris. They had the best lentil soup I ever tasted and every single time I went, that's what I ate.

Every. Single. Time. It was that good!

This past shopping trip I decided to get myself some red lentils to try to see if I could make one of my favorite soups. This is great paired with warmed pita bread. We ended up using tortillas because that's what we had in the fridge. You should definitely get the pita bread!

Here are the ingredients:

Leftover sweet potato strips!
A handful of cut fresh carrots and celery that were frozen
Onions and garlic
Black pepper
Red pepper flakes
2 Low sodium chicken bouillon packets
Salt (not pictured because I forgot to put it in the picture)
1 Lime
Lucky for me there was a recipe right on the red lentil bag so I didn't have to think too much about it. I just tweaked it a little and made it into soup instead of served over rice.

Before you even start cooking, measure out 1 cup of red lentils and soak it in just enough water to cover the lentils. Soak for 1 hour and pick through to get rid of any broken pieces or debris. I didn't find any.

Drain the lentils. Don't they look healthy!?

I cut up my garlic and onion and added them to my soup pot along with about a tablespoon of olive oil, cumin and ginger.
I diced up a few of my sweet potato strips. Didn't end up using the whole thing so back into the freezer it went!
Next I added my sweet potatoes, lentils, celery, carrots and chicken bouillon to the pot with about five cups of water. You can get fancy by replacing one cup of water with about a half a cup of coconut milk. All the black bits are burned onion pieces...not to worry..they disappear. Cook covered for 20-30 minutes over low heat.

To make the soup fancy and creamy...remove about 2 cups of the soup and transfer it to a blender and blend smooth. Add the soup back to the pot.

Note: Wait until the soup cools before blending! I did this while the soup was still hot and the top flew off and splashed soup EVERYWHERE and burned the crap out of my hands and chest. Or better yet, get yourself an immersion blender so you can blend the soup in the pot. I dunno...maybe I just have a really powerful blender...

And then you get really awesome, professional looking soup!

Ladle into bowls, squeeze a bit of fresh lemon or lime into your bowls and Enjoy!


  1. I'm going to try this. I had the most delicous lentil soup at a church function and haven't been able to find something similar. This might be it!

  2. Yay!! try it. I find that it tasted even better when I made it myself. Also, you can make a big batch and freeze it.