Whew. Barely made it in time with this one...
Of all the soups I've posted so far this month, this one is definitely kid #3's favorite. In fact, to be honest, no one else in the family even got to eat this soup today -- he scarfed it all. ALL. THE WHOLE THING.
This is a terrific take on your standard (but by no means boring) Indian dal recipe, in soup form. I overcook the lentils on purpose, giving the soup a very luscious, smooth texture. If you prefer your lentil soup a bit chunkier, just hold on another week 'til I post my French Lentil Soup, which is hearty, chewy, and full of texture.
And the greens in the photo? Those are baby cilantro sprigs from our greenhouse, NOT fennel! Aren't they adorable?! We've never been able to grow cilantro well here, but this year it's absolutely going bonkers in the greenhouse and the taste is amazing (ok, disclosure time: although I love to say, "We have a greenhouse," [hear it in a highbrow British accent] in reality it's a tiny little metal and plastic thing that one person can barely stand in...but it does the job, and this fall I'm loving all the herbs coming out of it. And the best part? So far I haven't killed anything, so that's a step in the right direction).
If making this for a camping trip, the entire recipe may be done on-site; however, I find it easier to cook the lentils and vegetables at home to save on stove fuel. Seal cooked and pureed vegetables, freeze, and finish the rest of the soup at your campsite.
2 cups yellow lentils
1 potato, diced
1 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t ground cumin
1 t ground ginger
1/2 t turmeric
1 t curry powder
8 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper
onion seeds, for garnish (available in Indian grocery stores, optional)
cilantro sprigs, for garnish (optional)
- Wash lentils and place in large stock pot; cover with water and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the potato, and simmer another 20 minutes or until lentils and potato are very soft.
- Drain water off the lentils and potato -- but save about 1 cup of the liquid.
- While the lentils and potato are cooking, saute the onion, celery, and garlic in the olive oil.
- Add lentils and potato to the onion, celery and garlic, and about 1 cup of the reserved liquid. Puree with an immersion blender (or place everything in a regular blender) until very smooth. Add a little water or vegetable stock, if needed.
- Place puree in stock pot and add spices and stock. Bring to a simmer; cook for about 15 minutes or until flavors have blended. Season with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with onion seeds and cilantro sprigs, and serve.