culinary review
   
   

North African Red Lentil Soup

Last Modified: 08/23/10
First Published: 10/24/07
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Views: 5297

The spices are very important, make sure to not skimp on them, this is a wonderfully rich and flavorful soup, yet “light” in calories. red_lentil_soupThe spices as well as the lemon are an important addition. Feel free to experiment with various spices, if for example you happen to have some saffron on hand, that would be a wonderful addition.

Here we used the Indian spice mix garam masala which of course technically isn’t North African, but it’s such a wonderful mix of flavors which go very well here – feel free to substitute with other spices if you so choose.

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Measurements
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General Info
Servings: 4
Total Cost: $6.02
Cost Per Serving: $1.50
Total Calories: 1,278
Calories/Serving: 320
IngredientVolumeMassCostCalorie
Vegetable Oil 2 Tablespoons 28.00 Grams $0.06 240
Onion, Yellow Diced (1 onion, diced) 1 Cup 160.00 Grams $0.35 67
Celery, Chopped (2 stalks, diced) 1 Cup 120.00 Grams $0.13 17
Carrots (2 carrots, diced) 1 Cup 128.00 Grams $0.14 52
Garlic (3 cloves) 3 Teaspoons 8.50 Grams $0.04 13
Tomato Paste 1 Tablespoon 16.50 Grams $0.06 13
Vermouth, Sweet, Generic 750 ml Bottle 1 Tablespoon 25.00 Grams $0.22 28
Lentils, Red 1 Cup 188.00 Grams $0.62 680
Vegetable Broth, Low Sodium 7 Cups 1,680.00 Grams $3.50 105
Cumin, Ground 1 1/2 Teaspoon 3.15 Grams $0.22 12
Chili Powder 1/2 Teaspoon 1.25 Grams $0.08 4
Cinnamon, Ground 1/4 Teaspoon 0.57 Gram $0.03 1
Bay Leaf (1 leaf) * 5.00 Grams $0.04 17
Gram Marsala 1 1/2 Teaspoon 3.15 Grams $0.13 8
Lemon, Whole (juice from 1 lemon) * 100.00 Grams $0.37 20
Salt, Table 1/2 Teaspoon 3.00 Grams $0.00 0
Black Pepper, Ground 1/2 Teaspoon 1.07 Grams $0.01 3

Spicy red lentil soup is the perfect dish when you want something warming, flavorful and satisfying, yet easy and budget-friendly. Red lentils are optimal in this recipe, however you could use brown lentils or lentils de puy in a pinch.  

4 servings

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sweet vermouth
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 7 cups of water + 2 bullion cubes

Spices/Flavoring:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • juice of one lemon
  • salt and pepper
red_lentilslentils_vegetables

Method:

Sautee onion, celery and carrots in vegetable oil for about 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic, the tomato paste and the spices. Sautee for a few more minutes, then add the sweet vermouth and the lentils. Continue to sauté for a few more minutes before adding the water and the bullion cubes (or broth). Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Tip! If you need to add more spices at the point when you already have added liquid to the soup, then stir the spices together with some oil and then add the mix to the soup. The fat will bring out the flavors of the spices, whereas if you added them dry directly to the pot they wouldn’t have the chance to fully express.