I don’t know about you but I’ve been in a “comfort food” state of mind lately. Even though the temperatures are finally warming up, I’m still craving simple, nourishing, warming meals. And soup is super high on my comfort food list. I’ve also been re-reading through some of my cookbooks I haven’t touched in a while. Like The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook. I find myself turning to Pinterest so often when browsing for cooking inspiration that I somehow forget about my cookbook collection I have at home! I barely made it through the soup section of this cookbook before I had half a dozen recipes I wanted to try. This spiced red lentil soup was the first one I decided to try because the ingredient list was beautifully simple and mostly called for items I already stocked in my pantry. What I didn’t have I easily substituted for what turned out to be a surprisingly delicious soup.
In addition to a few other tweaks, I decided to half the recipe. I’m the only soup eater in my house and I just didn’t feel like making a ton of soup that I’d then have to find a way to store the leftovers. There’s no reason this soup wouldn’t freeze well, I just didn’t feel like finding the space. That being said, this could easily be doubled or even quadrupled. Plus, it’s even better the next day once the flavors have melded together a bit more. This is officially going into my regular soup rotation from now on.
A few things I love about this dish:
- Soups are easy on digestion in general and this one, with its slow-cooked lentils and mix of spices, is no exception.
- In addition to being a great source of protein and fiber, lentils are also high in folate, iron, and a good source of potassium.
- Ginger is not only delicious but it’s a well-known digestive aid, helping the body’s own process of moving food along the digestive tract properly.
- Cayenne pepper also helps the digestive process by helping increase digestive fluids and promote the release of digestive enzymes.
Spiced Red Lentil Soup
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp garam masala*
- Pinch ginger powder
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups stock, chicken or vegetable work well
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
- Splash white wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp dried mint
- 1/2 tsp aleppo chili powder*
- Small handful parsley, chopped
- Heat avocado oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add spices, tomato paste, and garlic. Stir to combine and let cook for 1 minute.
- Add in broth, water, and lentil. Bring just to a boil then reduce to a steady simmer and let cook, stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft and beginning to break down a bit; about 15-20 minutes.
- While lentils are cooking, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over low heat. Once hot, remove from heat and stir in dried mint and aleppo pepper. Set aside until ready to serve.
- Using a sturdy whisk, whisk lentils thoroughly to break the soup down to a bit of a chunky puree. Add a splash of white wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve soup with a drizzle of spiced oil and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.