I thought I'd share the recipe I cooked for dinner tonight, because it was really delicious, comforting, and healthy! I originally spotted the recipe over here but made a few adjustments reflected in the version pasted below.
I omitted the celery and added a red bell pepper and some chickpeas. I also definitely added greater amounts of the spices than called for but didn't really measure...I just tasted as I went and adjusted until I was happy with the results. The original recipe called for 2 quarts of stock but I reduced this simply because I didn't have a big enough pot -- but 5 cups still made quite a lot of soup for the two of us. We'll be eating the leftovers for a couple of days, which is fine by me but just be forewarned that if you're only cooking for one or two and don't relish the prospect of soup for a week, you may want to adjust the amounts accordingly!
This soup was delicious on its own, but I bet it would be even better served with crusty bread and topped with some sour cream or Greek yogurt and cilantro!
Egyptian Red Lentil Soup
adapted from Food & Wine magazine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
3 celery ribs, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon hot curry powder
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cups red lentils (if you can't find red lentils, you can use a
different color, you just won't have this beautiful color and it might
change the cooking times)
2 14 ounce cans chickpeas, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large stockpot or dutch oven melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery,
carrots, bell pepper, and garlic and saute until soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add the
cumin, coriander, chili powder, and curry powder and stir to coat the
veggies with the spices. Cook for a few minutes to toast the spices. Add
the tomatoes and the stock and bring to a simmer. Season generously
with salt and pepper and add the lentils. Simmer for about 30-40
minutes, until lentils and vegetables are very soft.
In a few batches, puree the soup in a food processor until completely
smooth. Transfer back to pot, stir in the chickpeas and season with salt and pepper to taste.
If you like it a bit more spicy, you can add a little cayenne pepper and
more black pepper.