If I could get away with calling this red velvet soup, without having to endure looks of total and utter disappointment upon the realization that it is not, in fact, cocoa buttermilk-flavored, nor is it finished with a dollop of cream cheese frosting…then I would.
Because that would be a much more accurate description than “red lentil soup with lemon”, which sounds plain-jane at best, and is certainly not something you want to rush home and make as if your life depended on it.
But rush, you should.
Because while your life itself may not exactly be at risk…
…it’ll be far more full with this soup in it.
Filled with essentially pantry ingredients, this soup is revelatory in that it combines such simple things into something so darn tasty.
(Unless you are, um, me and happened to run out of just about everything in my pantry at the exact moment I decided I desperately needed this in my life. Really, what kind of food blogger in her right mind runs out of onions and garlic? On a Friday night, no less! Which is prime soup-cooking time.)
(No, really. Wild, crazy, and soup-full. That’s how my Friday nights roll.)
The lentils basically melt into the broth, creating a thick and almost creamy texture. Combine that with a hint of tang from the lemon, spice from the cayenne, and smokiness from the cumin…and there you have what can only be described as a flavor orgy in a bowl.
And while we could rename it in such a way that it’s lascivious nature is practically screamed from the rooftops…there’s really no need.
Red lentil soup with lemon.
Classy and understated. Just like the Friday nights that accompany it.
Last night, I went for a run that almost didn’t happen.
It was cold. My legs were kinda achy breaky. I was hungry. It was Tuesday.
And a million other excuses that passed through my head. I don’t know what was wrong with me because I even considered not working out at all.
Then I thought about how I would feel tomorrow (today) when I woke up knowing that I had had the ability to do one of the things I love the most. And I didn’t do it.
So I laced up my sneakers (which I think I desperately need a new pair of) and I went. Every step wasn’t perfect. But I did it. Six miles. Done.
And when I woke up this morning, my calves rebelling with every step to the kitchen to make breakfast. My head felt clearer. And it felt worth it. I had made the right choice yesterday. And today will definitely be better for it.
Red Lentil Soup with Lemon
Serves 6, adapted from In The Kitchen With A Good Appetite
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 quarts vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups red lentils
- 1/2 cup bulgur
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Heat the oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute until starting to brown, about 4 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Saute 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the broth, 2 cups water, the lentils, bulgur, and carrots. Bring to a simmer and then partially cover the pot, turning the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Add salt to taste.
- Using an immersion blender (or regular blender OR food processor) puree the soup (or just puree half, leaving half chunky). Stir in the lemon juice and parsley.
I am submitting this to Souper Sundays, which is hosted by Deb at Kahakai Kitchen.