Big Batch Curried Red Lentil Soup

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Light but filling, this yummy curried lentil soup comes together in just a half hour and will be one of your new family faves! It's perfect for a Meatless Monday or a simple weeknight meal.

To me, lentils are the gateway drug of the bean world. I like beans alright but we didn't grow up eating them, save the kidney beans in our occasional pot of chili. In fact, when I make chili I add very few beans. Instead: lentils. No tough skin. No mushy interior. Their hearty, innocuous texture has charmed my somewhat bean-phobic husband & children into the wide world of legumes.

I'm trying to offer more legumes to my family. It's been a learning experience, since my childhood menus were more chicken than chickpeas, but reducing our meat consumption is important to me and, as my kids get older and more aware of the world, it's important to them too.

We try to do one meatless dinner per week, and I'm always surprised by how full we are all with no animal protein. Combining legumes with veggies and grains, like in this soul-satisfying curry scented soup, or this amazing Tex Mex Black Bean & Quinoa Bowl, provides tons of protein and fibre to fill you up and keep you going for hours. 

This soup is sophisticated enough for mama but mild & approachable for little ones. You could even puree it to make a fab baby food and introduce mild spice to your youngest eaters. Our 7-year old dug right in when we told him it was "roti soup."

Lie if you have to. Whatever gets the job done.  ;)

Big Batch Curried Red Lentil Soup

The perfect bowl for a meatless make-ahead dinner or lunch.

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried red lentils
  • 2 L chicken broth or vegetable broth (to make it truly meatless)
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 medium white or yellow potatoes, diced
  • 8-10 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • pinch ground cayenne
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • juice of one lemon
  • handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped (to garnish; optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion, carrot & potato 5-10 minutes until softened.
  2. Add garlic, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, and salt; saute 2-3 more minutes until fragrant but not burnt.
  3. Add broth & lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes until very tender.
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree partly, leaving some small chunks for texture. Add more broth or water if too thick.
  5. Squeeze in lemon juice plus extra salt & pepper, if needed.
  6. Garnish with cilantro.

Adapted from The Moosewood Cookbook.