Lentils play a huge role in my cooking. They are the old faithfuls in the pantry and provide a dependable go to especially when I am out of fresh veggies. Of all the lentils I really like the quick cooking brown and reds which don't need much soaking and cook to perfection in a pressure cooker in 15 mins. This is exactly what I did for this Middle Eastern inspired lentil soup.
The inspiration for this soup comes from one of my favourite lunch places, Neomonde Deli and Bakery. If you like Mediterranean food, I think you will really like this place. They have a great selection of delicious hot and cold dishes along with fresh baked pita bread which they make themselves. I am kind of a boring eater when it comes to places I really like, which means I get the same thing every single time I go there. So here I always get the rice, eggplant stew, tzatziki and fruit salad. The person behind the counter might as well start putting these items together in a plate when they see me walk in. But recently Neomonde introduced a lentil soup which I absolutely fell in love with so now I have a tough time about which one of my regular selections I can substitute it with.
A Syrian friend of mine who also makes an equally good lentil soup hinted it has lemon, garlic and cumin powder as the main flavors, so I kind of ran with those. Here is my take on this soup, which will be my fourth entry for the Recipe Marathon on One Hot Stove.
1/2 cup brown lentils
1/2 cup red lentils
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 small carrots, diced
1 tomato, chopped
1 and 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
juice of half a lemon
- Wash the lentils together and soak in water till ready to use.
- In a pressure cooker, heat a tablespoon of olive oil.
- Add onions and garlic and saute for 3-4 mins.
- Add the diced carrots and salt and saute for another 2-3 mins.
- Add the tomatoes, paprika and cumin and mix well.
- After the tomatoes soften, add the lentils along with enough water to cover them.
- Put the pressure cooker lid on and cook for 10 mins or till lentils are completely cooked through.
- Blend half the soup and mix in with the rest.
- Serve hot with a liberal amount of lemon juice and some toasted pita bread.
Makes 4 servings.