Red lentil and lemon soup is simple to make and the flavors compliment each other for a delicious dish. The lentils and onion make this rustic and satisfying. The lemon adds a brightness that is subtle but pulls everything together. Add leftover brown rice, plain yogurt and spinach or kale leaves and you have a good-for-you and comforting meal.
The recipe calls for a hand emulsifier but the soup can be finished up in a regular stand blender (just be careful as the soup is hot).
Note: In these photos, I’ve blended the red lentil and lemon soup to a very smooth texture but it is also delicious left somewhat chunky.
- 2 cups split red lentils, picked over and rinsed well
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter – divided (be sure to read through recipe first)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 large onion (2 cups), diced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons yellow whole mustard seeds
- Juice of three lemons, or to taste
- 1 large bunch spinach or kale leaves, chopped
- Plenty of cooked (warm) brown rice, to serve in soup
- Plenty of plain Greek yogurt, to serve
- Put the lentils in a large pot with 7 cups water, the turmeric, 1 tablespoon of the butter, and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer, until the lentils are soft and falling apart, about 20 minutes or so. Puree this mixture 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.
- 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 are softened, roughly 10 to 15 minutes. Add the onion mixture to the soup, then add the juice from the lemons, until the soup has a nice tang to your liking. 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 enough for the spinach to collapse.
- Serve by placing a scoop of rice in each bowl, then soup, spinach, and a dollop of yogurt.
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks.