February 15, 2014

"Curried" Lentil Soup

A perfectly spiced, warm & hearty Indian "curried" lentil soup!

I love this soup for it is bursting with Indian flavors from the spices (turmeric, ginger, cumin, coriander) to garnish (fresh cilantro). The lentils by itself adds an earthy note to the soup, which is very heart-warming & appetizing, especially during cold winter days. Every spoon is packed with tons of flavors & the soup is very filling too! With garlic bread on the side, you could actually call it a day!!

Basic Info
Complexity - Simple
Prep time - 15 mins
Cook time - 30-40 mins
Serves - 4-6

1.5 cups uncooked masoor / whole lentils

Bay leaf - 1 no

1 onion, finely chopped
1 inch of ginger, grated
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 carrot, cubed
1 zucchini, cubed
1.5 cups of cilantro, tightly packed
20-25 curry leaves, optional

1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder

4 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
1-2 cups of water

Salt to taste
2 tbsp olive oil

In a medium sauce-pan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil. When hot, add bay leaf and let it sizzle.

Add chopped onion and saute until translucent. Add ginger & garlic and saute until the raw smell of garlic is gone. Add tomatoes and cook until soft. 

Next, add all the spice powders (from turmeric powder to cumin powder) and give it a stir.

After a min, add chopped carrots, zucchini, half of chopped cilantro, curry leaves and cook until the vegetables are soft and tender, for about 3-4 mins. Run this vegetable mixture in a food processor and blend until pureed.

Return the puree back to pan, add masoor dal, 3 cups of vegetable broth, required amount of salt and bring it to a boil. Cover & simmer on medium heat for 20-25 mins until the lentils are completely cooked, stirring occasionally. Lentils should still hold their shape but soft & mashable. At this point, you could use a hand /electric masher and mush up the lentils a bit.

Add rest of the vegetable broth, 1-2 cups of water depending on the consistency you would like, rest of the chopped cilantro. Taste to adjust salt and bring it to a boil. 

Remove from heat, and serve hot with garlic bread on the side!