Red Lentil Soup with Harissa Yogurt

By • April 27, 2010 • 3 Comments



Author Notes: Full of fiber, protein, and iron, lentils are a perfect food to eat when you’re not feeling 100%. This soup also has turmeric in it, which has lately been the darling of health scientists. Plus its vivid color pumps up the color of the soup, taking it from sun-faded orange to the gorgeous gold hue of a fiery sunset. (The addition of saffron does the rest.) A drizzle of cool harissa-spiked yogurt gives this soup an added creamy-salty-spicy kick that I think completes it. TheThinChef

Serves 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1 generous pinch saffron threads
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 quart low-sodium vegetable stock (pref. organic)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon harissa (North African pepper-spice paste)
  • 1/2 small lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons water
  1. Heat oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add shallot, and cook until it’s soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until it’s fragrant and tender, about 2 minutes. Add spices and salt, stirring well, and cook 1 minute. Add stock, water, and lentils.
  2. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low, and simmer until lentils are soft and falling apart, about 30 to 40 minutes. Taste, and add more salt if needed.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, harissa, lemon juice, and water. Add more water if needed to reach a drizzle-able consistency. To serve, ladle soup into serving bowls and drizzle with yogurt.
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Comments (3) Questions (0)

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10 months ago DjeenDjeen

This soup is still a staple in our house. To make it a one-pot meal, add spinach or arugula to the bottom of each bowl and let the heat of the soup wilt the greens. Also, to amp up the richness and protein, add some crumbled feta.

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over 1 year ago DjeenDjeen

This is deeply comforting. The combo of the turmeric and saffron is sublime. Substituted sriracha for harissa and added a bit of cumin too.

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over 2 years ago carole

Can't wait to try this .... I'm a lentil recipe sleuth. Do you make your harissa? I'm having a hard time finding it and so many ethnic recipes call for it.

Thanks for submitting this beautiful to eye and tummy recipe!