A simple yet sensational soup that features red lentils, autumn vegetables, fresh spinach and a generous amount of garlic.
- 1 c red lentils, sorted and rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 medium parsnips, cut into 1/2" dice
- 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2" dice
- 1 small bunch spinach (8 oz), rinsed well, thick stems removed, and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of cayenne
In medium saucepan, combine lentils, bay leaf and 4 C cold water. Cover partially and bring to a boil over high heat. Mix well, reduce heat to low and simmer until lentils are tender, about 12 minutes.
Remove bay leaf and stir in ½ tsp salt. PurÃƒÂ©e lentil mixture with an immersion blender or in a blender until smooth. Set aside. (This step is optional--I don't really like to puree my soups. I just leave the lentils whole)
While lentils are cooking, heat a large pot over medium-low heat with some broth/water to sautÃƒÂ©. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, cumin and coriander and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Stir in parsnips, carrots, salt to taste and 1 ½ C water. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Stir spinach and lemon juice into vegetable mixture. Cover and cook until spinach is just wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in reserved lentil purÃƒÂ©e and cayenne and warm through. Taste and season with salt and cayenne. Serve hot.
For a lively variation, stir in a tiny dollop of chili paste or hot pepper sauce and/or sprinkle each portion with a handful of chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley. Note: They say to puree the lentils, but I never do and think it works great! I like my soups chunky, but it is up to you!