Tuesday night we made lentil soup. Being a vegetarian for 15 years now I must have tried at least a thousand (probably more?) different veggie-recipes and I can honestly say that not much beat this lentil soup. It isn’t very fancy, recipe-smart or unique, but has a secret and is just one of those dishes that makes me close my eyes after putting the first bite in my mouth.
I learned this recipe from my friend Mahmud from Bangladesh. He actually filled the pot with spices, lentils and vegetables before even starting the stove and then let it all cook together for a couple of minutes before adding the water. I seem to burn it all whenever I try that, so I altered the recipe slightly.
The secret (according to him) is to use laaarge amounts of spices and to let the lentils cook a bit too long.
Indian Lentil Soup
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, very finely chopped
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground chili or harissa
3 medium potatoes, diced
2 carrots, sliced
200g red or yellow lentils, rinsed
4 cups / 1 liter vegetable stock
a pinch of sea salt
2-3 tomatoes, diced
Prepare the vegetables. Heat the olive oil in a big soup pot. Add onion, garlic, ginger and all the spices. After about a minute add the potatoes, carrots and the lentils, stir it around another minute before adding the vegetable stock. Let it boil on low-medium heat for 30 minutes, stir occasionally, taste the soup and add more salt and spices if needed. Add the tomatoes and let it boil for 5-10 more minutes. The soup is done when the lentils are dissolved. Serve with roasted pumpkin seeds and some fresh coriander.