This soup is quick and easy to prepare and is one of my favorites. The red lentils (actually tiny orange lentils) turn a golden color when cooked and have a rich, buttery flavor. If you have the red lentils and spices on hand, this is a fine soup to prepare on a moments notice.
SERVES 4 AS A MAIN COURSE
1ВЅ cups red lentils
4 cups water
1 tablespoon oil
ВЅ teaspoon salt
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into ВЅ-inch dice
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon turmeric
1ВЅ teaspoons ground cumin
1ВЅ teaspoons ground coriander
в…› teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Rinse the lentils in a strainer under cold running water. Pick them over and discard any stones, etc. Put them in a medium-size saucepan along with the water, oil, and salt. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes over medium heat. Stir occasionally. (If a lot of foam rises to the surface, scoop it off with a spoon.)
- Add the diced potatoes and stir to blend.
- In a small skillet melt the butter. Add the onion, garlic, and all of the spices. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the onions begin to get tender.
- Add to the soup, stir, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 more minutes. If the soup is too thick, thin with a little water.
- Taste to correct the seasoning. Serve with a small pat of butter on each serving.
NOTE: Although this soup is delicious if served immediately, it is more flavorful if prepared at least an hour before serving, then reheated.