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Author Notes: I ate a version of this lentil soup at a friend's home. She told me she had tweaked the ingredients in the soup after eating it at another friend's home. I, too, adjusted it when I prepared it. The soup is colorful, rich in flavor, satisfying, and the product of many friends (and family) interpretations. It is, quite simply, a wonderful addition to one's repertoire and a reminder of how friends (and family) contribute to making a recipe special. —Leslie_
- 2-4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 4 carrots, diced
- 1 cup zucchini, peeled and finely diced
- 3 tablespoons cilantro stems, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup canned tomatoes with their juice, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1-1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
- 1-2 pinches chile powder
- 1 cup dried red lentils, well rinsed
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 4-5 chopped scallions
- Optional: dollop of Greek yogurt
- Melt/heat butter and/or olive oil, add onion and stir.
- Add celery, carrots, zucchini, cilantro, garlic and sprinkle with salt, turmeric, cumin and cook about 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, lentils and chicken stock (you may need to add more as the soup cooks). Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer partially covered for 20-30 minutes until the lentils are soft.
- Taste for salt and add the pepper and chili powder. Add lemon juice.
- Garnish with lightly sauteed chopped scallions.
- Optional: My daughter recommends a dollop of Greek yogurt to "cool the heat".