Sunday, December 2, 2012

Curried Red Lentil Soup

Quite some time ago my daughter and I took a heart healthy macrobiotic cooking class with Christina Pirello of Christina Cooks. During the class, she made a curried red lentil soup that my daughter absolutely loved.

Since today was a bit of a foggy, gloomy morning soup sounded like a good idea. Given what I had on hand in both the fridge and pantry this soup seemed like a good idea.  I did not follow the recipe exactly (when do I ever?).  I did not have canned diced tomatoes so I opted for a little more liquid and tomato paste.

I also try not to cook with water for savory recipes. Whenever it seems appropriate I use vegetable stock- I find you get a better depth of flavor and a little extra nutritional kick. Just adjust the amount of salt you use based on your veggie stock- some can be pretty salty (which is why I make my own).

This came out great and warmed our bellies on this gloomy fall day.

Curried Red Lentil Soup

1 cup red lentils, rinsed well
1 tsp avocado oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp curry powder
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro for garnish (optional)

Heat oil in a medium saucepan and add the onion and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Saute until softened- a few minutes.  Add the curry powder and stir.  Add the celery and carrot and continue to cook a few minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato paste and give a quick stir to incorporate, and the add the lentils, bay leaf and vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover.  Simmer for about 35 minutes until lentils are tender and creamy.

Serve garnished with cilantro if desired.