Fall is here. Not really. There’s nothing happening in South Florida but most parts of the country are already having soups for dinner. And most of you probably have had lentil soup before right? and you liked. It was good right? but didn’t you feel that something was missing? I have. Look, I had lentil soups before only because I lived in NYC and had to keep myself warm and the Indian restaurant in my neighborhood had it on the menu, there was no way I could skip it. It was good. But not that good. My mom also makes it, but…as much as it tastes good and fills you up, I always thought that something was missing in these recipes.
Then it hit me – why not get rid of the chicken or meat and tomato paste that usually go with it and cook the soup pure vegan, while adding some chilli and zap it with citrus. Yes baby. Lemon juice that is. Just the thought of marrying flavors like lentils, olive oil and lemon already made me drool.
So to work I go.
You can use green, orange or brown lentils. I like the green only because it’s commonly used in my mom’s kitchen. When I served the soup to my family I added lemon wedges on the side, knowing they will ask for more. At first they didn’t know what the lemon was for but once they figured out and tasted the lemony soup, I wasn’t wrong – they asked for more. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
kosher salt to taste
fresh black pepper
juice of 2 lemons + one lemon rind
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
10 cups of water
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp hot paprika
1 cup dry green lentils
handful chopped parsley
Lets heat medium size pot coated with the olive oil. Add onion and cook until transparent. Add dry lentils, garlic and spices. Cook 2-3 minutes then add liquid and lemon juice. bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to simmer until lentils are tender and the soup is thicker.
**if you notice there is too much water, bring heat back to medium and cook uncovered for another 10 min. Remove from heat. Soup should not be too thin or too thick. You get the point.
Let’s plate this dish: pour lentil soup into a beautiful bowl. Squeeze some lemon juice and garnish with chopped parsley and thin lemon slices. Serve it with a big green salad. YUMM!