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Healthy, Hearty Curried Lentil Soup Recipe
Healthy, Inexpensive Curried Lentil Soup
I love lentils - they're cheap, nutritious, and cook far more quickly than any other dried bean. Unfortunately, most lentil soups are either watery and tasteless or rely on large chunks of greasy sausage to bring flavor to the pot. This thick and hearty lentil soup is an easy, meatless option if you want a filling soup that's easy on your budget.
Ingredients for Lentil Soup
- 1 cup of lentils
- 1 small onion or 1/2 a large onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of curry powder
- olive oil
To Make the Lentil Soup
1. Pour enough olive oil in your cooking pot to lightly coat its bottom. This will probably take 1-2 tablespoons of oil, depending on the size of your pot. Place the pot over medium heat on the stove.
2. While the pot is heating, prepare your onion and garlic. Chop the onion in small pieces. You don't need to mince it, but you probably don't want bite sized chunks of onion, either! I like to use red onion, but you can use whatever onion you prefer. Mince your garlic gloves, or use pre-minced garlic.
3. Once the oil is warm and shimmering, add the onions. They should sizzle a little when they hit the pot. If they don't, it isn't warm enough and you should increase the heat slightly. Stir the onions occasionally to keep them from burning and sticking and cook for about 5 minutes, or until they are slightly translucent-looking.
4. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about a minute.
5. Add a cup of lentils to the onion, garlic, and oil mixture and stir to coat the lentils evenly with oil. Allow the lentils to brown slightly for two or three minutes, stirring frequently.
6. Add two tablespoons of curry powder, more or less to taste, and stir thoroughly. Allow the mixture to cook for about 30 seconds.
7. Add four cups of water (or chicken broth, for more flavor) and stir to ensure there are no pieces sticking to the bottom.
8. Add a can of diced tomatoes and stir. I prefer unsalted petite diced tomatoes, but the choice is yours! There is no need to drain them - the added liquid and flavor are good for the soup.
9. Bring the soup to a simmer, then turn the heat to low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, checking periodically to stir and ensure you do not need to add more liquid. If there is no visible liquid, add more until it looks, well, soupy! Look below to see what I mean.
10. Taste the lentils to see if they're done yet. (In other words, tender and not crunchy!) It should only take about half an hour, but stoves and pots vary, so the exact amount of time you need may be different.
11. To make the soup thicker and more delicious, puree a portion of it. I love using my Cuisinart immersion blender! If you have one, just stick it down in the pot and pule it carefully so you don't splash yourself with boiling soup until you've pureed the soup to your satisfaction. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can carefully remove a portion of the soup from the pot and puree it in a blender or food processor. Removing about 1/3 of the soup for pureeing seems to work well, just make sure to be careful so you don't burn yourself! Add the pureed soup back to the main soup pot.
12. Continue simmering the soup until it has reached your desired thickness.
13. Serve and enjoy! I enjoyed it with crusty bread one time and warm pita on a different occasion. I also enjoy eating the soup topped with shredded cheese. Delicious!
Rate my lentil soup!
Like most soups, this curried lentil soup tastes even better the second day! You can easily make it more spicy, if you would like, or add extra vegetables like potatoes, peas, and carrots. I hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy it as much as I do.