Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

With my Thanksgiving break drawing to a close, I decided that I needed to use my last free day to make a big pot of soup.  Since we didn’t have Thanksgiving at our place, I don’t have any leftovers from the feast.  And since this is my last week of class before finals, I know I’m going to be quite busy with non-culinary projects starting…about…now.  I decided that some healthy and hearty lentil soup would be just the thing to take for lunches for the next few days, especially given the cold and rainy weather we’ve got coming up.

This recipe comes from Heidi Swanson’s blog 101 Cookbooks.  I have loved every recipe of hers that I have ever made and this is no exception.  The pictures on her blog and in her cookbooks make me want to go live in her world for a while, which I do by making her food.  I used a little less lemon than she did, but feel free to experiment and see how lemony you want your soup to be.  I highly recommend adding the spinach but have to say I’ll probably be skipping that step with my leftover soup for ease of lunch-packing.  Stay warm, everyone!

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon
from Heidi’s at 101 Cookbooks

2 cups / 14 oz / 400 g split red lentils, picked over and rinsed well
1 tablespoon turmeric
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
fine grain sea salt
1 large onion / ~ 2 cups, diced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of three lemons, or to taste
1 large bunch of spinach leaves, chopped

plenty of cooked (warm) brown rice, to serve
plenty of plain Greek yogurt, to serve

Put the lentils in a pot with 7 cups / 1.6 l water, the turmeric, 1 tablespoon of the butter, and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are soft and falling apart – twenty minutes or so. Puree with a hand blender. Add more water until the soup is the consistency you like, then taste and add more salt if needed. Keep the soup warm/hot.

While the lentils are cooking, prepare the onion. In a skillet over low heat cook the onion in 2 tablespoons of the remaining butter along with the cumin and mustard seeds, stirring occasionally. When the onions have softened, roughly 10 or 15 minutes, add the cilantro and cook for a few seconds before removing from the heat. Add the onion mixture to the soup, then add the juice of the lemons, one lemon at a time – until the soup has a nice bit of tang. Also, add more salt to taste at this point if needed.

Just before serving, add the last of the butter to the skillet, when hot add the spinach and a good pinch of salt. Stir well, and cook just long enough for the spinach to collapse.

Serve by placing a scoop of rice in each bowl, then soup, spinach, and a dollop of yogurt.

Serves 6.

I submitted this post to this week’s “Real Food Wednesday“.


7 thoughts on “Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

  1. We just did a cooking class and made a similar soup. The lemon makes it feel very Greek. I have Super Natural Every Day, you’ve inspired me to use it more. Thanks for stopping by Foodtrainers too.

    • You’re right about the Greek influence there…I hadn’t thought of that. I think I remember a black bean salad in Super Natural Every Day that changed my world, it’s a must!

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