Curried Lentil Soup

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Photograph by Elinor Carucci

Serves 6-8, can be doubled

One of my favorite parts of Succot is serving warm food on cool nights (in NY we always hope the nights are not too cool). And I love serving different types of soup because most Friday evenings my kids want Traditional Chicken Soup. This one is different and very flavorful.

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped, divided
2 tablespoons (or more) curry powder
1 cup green lentils (French lentils*** if you can find them)
4-1/4 cups (or more) water, divided
1 (15- to 16-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) margarine
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges

Note: ***French green lentils are small, dark green, and speckled with black; they can be found at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores. Regular green lentils work well in this too.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add half of chopped garlic; stir until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 4 minutes longer. Add 2 tablespoons curry powder; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add lentils and 4 cups water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Increase heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, purée chickpeas, lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining garlic in food processor.
Add chickpea purée and margarine to lentil soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional curry powder, if desired. Add water by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency. Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle with thinly sliced green onions and serve with lemon wedges.

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