When it starts getting cold outside, there’s only one solution: Lentil soup.
Actually, there are other solutions such as warm blankets, flannel leggings and hibernation. But this soup is one of the best remedies, in my humble opinion.
I make a variation of lentil soup every winter, but this time I tried a recipe from NYT Cooking. It called for red lentils, which I was craving, and also a bunch of warming spices. It also seemed relatively easy. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to delay soup gratification.
I served the soup with a dollop of Greek yogurt and some cilantro. You could also put sour cream on top. I like the contrast because the cream cuts through the spices.
Also, I would highly recommend putting some lemon juice in the soup at the last minute. It gives the lentils a little kick and contrasts well with the cream and spices.
Here’s a song to start your soup-making journey. It’s also good for days when the roads ice over and you can’t leave your house.
Lentil Soup (slightly adapted from NYT Cooking)
3 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of ground chile powder or cayenne, more to taste
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 cup red lentils
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Greek yogurt or sour cream for serving
In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder or cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes longer.
Add broth, 2 cups water, lentils and carrot. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.
Using an immersion or regular blender or a food processor, purée half the soup then add it back to pot. Soup should be somewhat chunky.
Reheat soup if necessary, then stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve with Greek yogurt, sour cream, and some good, crusty bread. Enjoy!