Today I’m featuring one of my go-to recipes that regularly finds its way into my dinner rotation throughout the colder months. With a young family, you wouldn’t think that lentils would be involved in one of our favorite recipes, but everyone loves this lightly curried and sweet soup with a pop of cilantro. Any meal the elicits no complaints at the dinner table, and is healthy, is worth making over and over again in my book. This soup never gets old, either. It adds a bit of warmth and spice to any chilly day.
In addition to tasting amazing, this recipe is ridiculously easy to make.
The secret to this soup is the spices. If you, or those you cook for, aren’t into spicy food don’t be scared off. The combination of cumin, paprika, turmeric, garlic, and ginger creates a sweet and savory profile. Whether or not you add hot peppers is totally up to your own discretion. What I normally do is make the soup without the hot peppers and when it’s done I reserve some for my son, then add a ton of heat to the pot for my husband and I. Yum!
To bring the soup together, cook up some onions until they’re soft. Next, add your dry spices to the pot and cook for one minute, or until they become aromatic and fill your home with a delicious smell of distant lands. Then add the ginger and garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. After this, add in the tomatoes, broth, and lentils.
At this point there’s not that much else to do other than let the pot simmer for a good hour. This a fabulous time to relax and hang out with your favorite people (or pets). After the soup is done cooking, simply garnish with cilantro and drizzle with honey. If you follow a vegan diet. substitute the honey with agave nectar. It’s really that easy!
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (1 tsp dry)
- 1 Tbsp fresh or frozen ginger, minced (1 tsp dry)
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 4 C low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 C red lentils
- 1 Tbsp fresh or frozen cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 1 cube of Dorot frozen chili peppers or ⅛ tsp dry cayenne (optional)
- 8 tsp honey for drizzling (use agave nectar for vegan)
- salt to taste
- Cook the diced sweet onion with 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Add the ground cumin, paprika, and ground turmeric to the pot and cook for one minute, until the spices become aromatic.
- Add the minced garlic and ginger to the pot, cooking 30 more seconds. I sometimes use Dorot frozen herbs to make this step go faster. Dorot makes garlic, ginger, cilantro, and chili cubes. All of which can be used in this recipe.
- Add the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and red lentils to the pot. Stir to combine. Turn the heat up to high, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for about one hour. When the soup is done cooking, the lentils will be soft and the soup will be thick.
- When the soup is done cooking, stir in 1 Tbsp of cilantro, hot peppers (optional), and salt to taste. Garnish with additional cilantro and drizzle with honey. Serve immediately or cool and refrigerate to be reheated later.