Spiced Red Lentil Soup

What does one eat when one’s braces are tightened?  Well, first of all, one disregards the sultry, summer heat; and makes a rich, hearty soup (as a side note, I did eat it at room temperature).  I used to not be much of a soup person, but I have gradually learned to love them, though mainly because of my braces.  My favorite soups are usually purees or mainly composed of legumes.

I adore lentils–yellow, red, de puy, French…  And they are also quite inexpensive.  I have quite the stash of lentil recipes that I hope to be sharing with all of you in the future.

This soup is inordinately simple.  All you need is a good soup pot, a few common pantry ingredients, and about an hour.  Very nourishing and thick, it tastes as though it’s simmered for hours.  The red lentils break down into golden, velvety soup that is accented with tender brown rice.  All of this is flavoured with caramelized onions, red pepper flakes, and a delicate vegetable broth.

Spiced Red Lentil Soup

Adapted from Heidi Swanson

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped small

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

6 cups good tasting vegetable broth (or water)

1 1/3 cups red lentils, picked over and rinsed

1/2 cup brown rice, picked over and rinsed (I used long grain)

kosher salt, to taste

yogurt or raita, to serve

Over medium heat, combine the olive oil, onions, and red pepper flakes in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot.  Saute, stirring occasionally to allow the onions to caramelize.  This should take around 10 minutes.

Stir in the broth, bring to a boil, then stir in the lentils and rice.  Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until your rice is tender and not at all toothsome.  I like my soups thick, but you can thin it slightly if you like.

Unless you used salted broth, you will need to be generous with the salt.  Serve hot, warm, or cold with a dollop of yogurt or raita.

Serves 4-6

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