Black Lentil Soup
Recipe adapted from Food & Wine
1 c. black lentils
2 cardamom pods
1 1” piece of ginger thinly sliced, and 2 Tbsp. ginger, minced
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter (preferably grass-fed, such as Kerrygold)
1 onion, ½” dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. cumin seed
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. garam masala
2 qts. vegetable broth
1 c. canned crushed tomatoes
In a pot, cover the lentils, cardamom and sliced ginger with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the lentils start to soften, about 10 minutes. Drain the lentils and transfer to a bowl; discard the cardamom and ginger.
Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in the pot. Add the onion, garlic and minced ginger and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Add the coriander, cumin, cayenne and garam masala and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 4 minutes.
Add the stock, tomatoes and lentils to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer over moderate heat until the lentils are softened and the soup has thickened, about 1 hour. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and season with salt. Ladle into bowls and serve.
The Indian flavors in this dish really only made it for Jeremy, who loves the spices and cuisine, but even one of our daughters wanted to try it and thought it was great! This recipe is a nice way to introduce those not familiar with these foods to the wonderful and huge world of spices and herbs that they may have never known about. More designed for winter, this soup is also wonderful on a warm day, as the lentils are hearty but not too overfilling and the broth is light and savory. You could also probably serve this one at room temperature and everyone would still enjoy it. If you want to try an easy soup that has a unique flavor and is good in almost any weather, give this a try!
(Also, for a fat free and much healthier option, remove the butter from the recipe. It will reduce the umami quality of the dish slightly, but it is still great, and you can feel good that your meal was extremely healthy!)