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Author Notes: This soup is my go-to comfort food (even in summer!). In my search for the perfect lentil soup, I combined the best sounding parts of a couple promising recipes I found online, and the resultant recipe continued to evolve a bit further over time. The cinnamon was actually a result of some accidental evolution; I thought I had grabbed the cumin, but after dumping it into the pot, I realized I grabbed the wrong bottle. I was able to scoop most of it out, but realized the trace of cinnamon that was left in the final product really brought the whole thing together in an unexpected, but delicious, way. —Verene
Serves about 6
tablespoon olive oil
medium onion, diced
medium-large carrots, diced
garlic cloves, minced
big pinch ground cinnamon
teaspoon sea salt
teaspoons ground cumin
teaspoons dried thyme
teaspoon ground turmeric
cups vegetable broth (I use Imagine Organic Vegetarian No-Chicken Broth)
cups dry red lentils, picked over and rinsed
garlic salt, truffle salt, and/or ground black pepper as desired
- Warm oil in a 4+ quart stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté about 6 to 8 minutes until translucent and soft.
- Add carrots; sauté about 6 to 8 minutes until softened.
- Add garlic and spices. Sauté another minute or two until fragrant.
- Add the water and broth. Turn up the heat to bring to a boil. (I usually rinse my lentils in 3 to 4 changes of water while the rest of the soup is coming to a boil. As an aside, I used to skip rinsing my lentils out of laziness, but I've been rinsing them religiously since I gave it a try once on a whim and saw all the dust and junk that comes off in the water. I'm positive the results taste better for rinsing, so don't skip that step!) Add the lentils to the pot.
- Once the soup is boiling, turn the heat down to low and let simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until lentils are falling apart. Stir periodically (maybe once every 10 minutes or less) to prevent anything from burning on the bottom of the pot. Add additional water as needed to keep the desired soupy consistency. The soup gets better the longer it simmers, so feel free to turn the heat down to its lowest setting to let it sit and simmer for an hour or more until you're ready for it. Just don't forget to give it a stir every now and then.
- Add more salt and ground black pepper to taste. Serve hot, and pass around garlic salt, truffle salt, and/or pepper to be added to individual taste.