Well folks, I’ve been babbling about our snow storm and extended power outages this weekend. And yes, in addition to heat, no power means no well and that means no water. Also, the dang oven, although a GE gas stove, has electrical controls only. I can use knobs to get gas for the warmer rack and burners, but can’t warm the kitchen and bake with the oven. Serious design flaw but can’t justify replacing it yet. What does this rant have to do with curried lentil soup? Well, thank the gods that I just happened to make up a big batch the day before my power abandoned me for 24 hours, came up a bit and then out another 8 (that’s one weekend I won’t get back). It was wonderful to have a homemade nourishing meal at my fingertips where the only requirement was one saucepan. As I was washing pans and dishes with icy cold water from milk jugs I keep in the garage (ever the girl scout, I am prepared), this was truly a treat. When I’d made my first batch I was a bit concerned that I’d overdone it with the spicy hot curry – but with the house frigid except for an area around the fireplace – I was so glad that spice was there. I almost titled this my life saving lentils as it was absolutely the perfect warm and rich dish to have on hand.
I adapted my recipe from one by Bon Appetit. They use twice as much garbanzo beans as lentils, and well, I like lentils so I reversed that. It appears I also like carrots and garlic a bit more than they do. And, with lentil soup, I’m definitely a fan of creamy and have my handy dandy stick blender at the ready. If you’re not a hot and spicy fan – use regular curry powder. If you use only 6 cups of water, you’ll have a VERY thick lentil puree that could be a spicy dip on pita. Add a bit more for a nice stewy concoction on brown rice, or a tad more for a rich creamy soup. Your call. Didn’t put a garnish in the ingredient list as it you make it hot – I prefer a dollop of yogurt, but you can also garnish with a thin lemon slice, green onions or even very finely chopped parsley. Your choice.
Creamy Curried Lentil Soup adapted from Bon Appetit.3 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 4 medium carrots, finely chopped 5 large garlic cloves, chopped, divided 3 tablespoons curry powder – your choice hot or regular, adjust this to your taste (I use 4T) 2 cups lentils 7 cups (or more) water, divided 1 ~2 cup can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; Cook until onion is translucent. Add carrots and curry powder (you can add but not subtract so don’t add excess right off); stir a few minutes until fragrant. Add lentils and water. Increase heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Add chickpeas and butter and warm until butter melts.
Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional curry powder, if desired. Puree (in blender, food processor or in the pan with a stick blender). If you like, return to pan and add water by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency.
Serve as soup or over rice.
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