It has finally become soup weather in Oakland. It even got down to 38, which is not normal for our area. My mint froze, and the seeds I planted a few weeks ago are not growing. It is definitely the season to enjoy a big bowl of this Spiced Lentil Soup.
This soup recipe is inspired by a recipe I saw in Delicious Magazine. You are going to love this comforting Indian inspired soup recipe as it is packed with flavor. I use warm spices such as cumin, gram masala, and spicy Marash chilies to season the vegetarian broth based recipe. After cooking the soup until the lentils fall apart, I mix in spinach and then top it with a garlicky yogurt. It is really a bright and flavorful soup recipe.
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Spiced Lentil Soup
** serves 4
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely minced
2 carrots, scrubbed clean and cut into small dice
3 celery sticks, cleaned and cut into small dice
1 bay leave
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Marash chilies
1 tablespoon gram masala
1 1/2 cups orange lentils
7 cups vegetable stock
2 handfuls spinach leaves, I use baby leaves if you use larger, tear or cut into smaller pieces
juice 1/2 lemon
1 cup greek yogurt
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small garlic, grated on a microplane
cilantro, to serve with
fresno chilies, to serve as a garnish
extra lemon wedges
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until soft; about 3 – 5minutes. Add the celery and carrots, stir and cook for another 3 minutes.
Stir in the bay leaves, cumin, chilies, gram masala and the lentils. Cook for 5 minutes over low heat, stirring every so often.
Add the stock, stir and simmer over low heat for 30 – 40 minutes. The soup will begin to thicken as the lentils fall apart.
While the soup is cooking mix the yogurt, 1 teaspoon olive oil and garlic together. Set aside.
When the soup has finished cooking puree half of the soup in a food processor or blender; then mix the pureed and the unpureed soups together.
Gently reheat over low heat and stir in the spinach and juice of 1/2 lemon. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt if you desire.
Serve in a bowl and top with yogurt, cilantro, and the chilies.