The February issue of Food & Wine featured a recipe for an Egyptian Red Lentil soup that I decided to try due to having most ingredients listed on hand. It’s also healthy, so it seemed an appropriate choice for a post just after the new year when many people are trying to eat better.
I actually followed the recipe pretty closely at the beginning, but strayed towards the end. I didn’t have the right chile powder or fresh tomatoes, so I subbed in medium chile powder and canned tomatoes. I also felt the soup lacked a little depth at the end, which is where the lemon zest and tomato paste came in. Here’s my adapted version. The soup keeps well, so it’s a great one to make on a Sunday and plan to keep eating it during the week. I served it with whole wheat pita slices and homemade hummus. Regretfully, I didn’t pay much attention to the proportions on this batch of hummus and of course it turned out to be fantastic. I wish I could share that one with you as well.
Egyptian Red Lentil Soup (Adapted from Food & Wine Feb. 2012) 8 servings
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 of medium red onion, chopped
- 2 medium-sized carrots, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 medium-sized garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon of chile powder (medium spice)
- 14.5 oz. can fire-roasted chopped tomatoes (do not drain)
- 2 cups red lentils
- 8 cups water
- Finely grated zest from one lemon
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Greek Yogurt (for garnish)
- Cilantro (for garnish)
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the dried spices and cook for about three more minutes. Add the tomatoes, lentils, and 8 cups of water and let simmer for 25-30 minutes. The lentils should be very soft. Stir in the lemon zest and tomato paste and then season with salt and pepper. Puree the soup. Serve with yogurt and cilantro. (I served the first serving as pictured, but then decided to run the yogurt through the blender with cilantro and lemon juice for an easy garnish for the rest of the week.)
This slightly spicy and zesty soup is a great winter warmer that’s hearty without being heavy.