The blustery weather of the last couple of days put me in the mood for lentil soup. For some reason, I wanted a vegetarian version. Who knows. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I had spent the morning making 10 pounds of pie dough with the lard I was keeping in my freezer. Lentils cooked on their own are very, well, brown. So I added healthy spoonfuls of paprika and turmeric, along with a can of chopped tomatoes, to give my soup some attractive color as well as bright flavor. Now if only I could figure out a way to make my delicious but rather gray baba ghanoush equally pretty. Here is the soup recipe:
Vegetarian Lentil-Tomato Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
One 1-inch piece fresh gingerroot, finely chopped
2 teaspoons hot or sweet paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
One 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes with juice
4 1/2 cups water
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, paprika, and turmeric and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2. Add the lentils, cilantro, tomatoes, and water to the pan and bring t a boil. Cover, turn down the heat, and cook at a bare simmer until the lentils are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Puree one cup of the soup in a blender and return to the pot. Season with salt and serve.