Thursday, December 22, 2011

A very special red lentils soup

I would never think that a soup made of these simple ingredients can be that delicious. However once my mom threw it together and since then we are making it virtually every week. Everybody loves it including my little brother and when I eat it I think I do know why. It is just one of those dishes that are truly good for you. It always leaves you with a deep feeling of satisfaciton and comfort.

There also must be something about the combination of potatoes and lentils, which makes it so fulfilling similarly to kitchary. In any case, red lentils used here is very rewarding to cook. You don't need to soak it in advance and it only takes 8-10 minutes of boiling to get ready. So the whole soup will not take you longer than half an hour.

Red lentils soup

serves 4

2 table spoons vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved lenghtwise
1 onion or 1/2 of white part of leak, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 potatoes, diced
60 g (2 handfuls) of red lentils
salt to taste
small handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Set a medium pan over medium heat. Add the oil. When it heats up add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes till it browns. Discard the garlic, add the onions and carrots. Cook stirring for 5 minutes. The onions should become transluscent but should not brown.

Add the potatoes and enough water to cover the vegetables plus 2 cm on top. Bring to the boil and cook on medium heat under lid for 10 minutes.

Add the lentils, bring back to the boil and cook under lid for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat, add the parsley and salt to taste. Serve hot.

It is best for lunch, but can be also great for dinner. I like it just on its own. However some of us like it with sour cream. It is quite common in Russia to stir a table spoon of sour cream in your soup before eating it. You might aslo want to try it.

Related posts:

Pumpkin and ginger cream soup
Rice with green lentils (inspired by Kitchari)
Buckwheat with carrots and onions
Pumpkin porridge for Russian winter
Ukrainian granny's vareniki with mashed potatoes (vegan version)