This hearty soup for two is the perfect way to heat things up on a cold winter night. Serve with warm, crusty whole grain bread and a salad with cilantro-lime vinaigrette for a healthy and satisfying meal that will warm you from the inside out.
Red Lentil Soup
1 Tbs. olive oil or non-stick cooking spray
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
8oz can diced tomatoes, drained (or 2 lb. fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded & chopped)
1 C. red lentils, rinsed and picked over to check for stones
4 C. low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
salt and ground pepper to taste
½ bunch cilantro, finely chopped (for garnish)
1. Heat medium dutch over or 5 quart pot over medium heat. Add the oil or cooking spray. Add the chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown and soft.
2. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, tomatoes and lentils to the cooked onions. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add in vegetable or chicken stock and increase the heat to medium-high. Once the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Remove the pot from the heat and let the soup cool slightly. Transfer half of the soup to the blender and puree until smooth. Pour pureed soup into a bowl and repeat process with the remaining soup from the pot. If the soup has cooled significantly, pour the pureed mixture back into the empty cooking pot. Reheat the soup over medium heat until desired temperature. Ladle the soup into 2 large soup bowls, and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.
Cooking the onions until they turn a golden brown color, without burning, enhances the flavor of the soup significantly.
If the soup is still hot when transferring it to the blender, open the center of the lid for the blender slightly, while holding it over the hole as the mixture is pureeing. This will allow the steam to escape.
* As shown in picture, garnished with truffle oil, balsamic, snipped chives and greek yogurt