This simple and nutritious vegan Red Lentil soup is perfect if you want a delicious and light meat free meal.
My first taste of Arabic lentil soup was on a business trip to Oman a few years ago. After a long day I was tired and hungry, but not inclined to go down to the hotel restaurant for dinner. I ended up ordering Arabic red lentil soup and kibbeh from the room service menu.
I subsequently tried making Arabic lentil soup using green lentils, but it looked more like dishwater and did not taste any better.
I found a recipe for lentil soup that looked very easy, on the Chef in Disguise website (along with many easy and authentic Middle Eastern recipes). This red lentil soup is nutritious and has a creamy, rich flavor that is elevated with a sprinkling of parsley and grating of lemon zest, if you have it available.
Another adaptation includes 1/2 cup of chopped celery and 1/2 cup of chopped carrots added when sautéing the onions. A third included only carrots. For now I prefer the third version with the carrots and without the celery as I find the celery too overpowering a flavor. It may be that fasting makes my taste buds ultra sensitive because even the chili seems spicier than before.
You may find that even the soup avoiders in your family will love this. When we made it in Cape Town this past Winter my family could not believe how easy it is to make and how quickly it was ready. The longest part of the recipe is the soaking time of the lentils!
Red Lentil soup
- 250 ml dried and split red lentils approximately 1 cup
- 60 ml olive oil divided, approximately ¼ cup
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 1 carrot grated
- 15 ml flour approximately 1 tablespoon
- 500 ml vegetable stock approximately 2 cups
- 500 ml water approximately 2 cups
- 1 clove garlic sliced
- 1.25 ml chili flakes approximately ¼ teaspoon
- 2.5 ml Salt adjust to taste
- Black pepper
- 30 ml Parsley chopped
- 1/2 Lemon juice and rind, to taste
Rinse the lentils twice then soak for at least 2 hours.
Heat 30 ml of olive oil in a soup pot and sauté the onions until soft.
Add the flour and cook for 1 minute before adding the drained lentils, garlic and chili flakes.
Add the stock or water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
Blend the soup until creamy and completely smooth. I used a stick blender.
Add the remaining 30 ml oil and blend until incorporated.
Adjust the thickness with more hot stock or water, if required.
Check the seasoning and add salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and lemon zest and a wedge lemon.
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