Creamy Red Lentil Soup

Here in New England, October means freezing your tootsies off in the morning, sweating all your makeup off during the day then freezing your tootsies off again at night.  Clearly it doesn't make any sense, but that's New England for you.  

This morning, I was FREEZING.  Like, couldn't get out of bed so I dragged the cat under the down comforter with me and vowed to never leave our warm cocoon.  Until said cat freaked out and we were both out of bed faster than I've ever wanted to be at that time of the morning.  

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So I heated up some oatmeal, mixed in sone leftover apple crisp from last night (you guys, I need to share my recipe with you ASAP because you need my easy apple crisp in your life, but that's for another post), and decided I needed something warm and cozy to eat tonight, so naturally I went with my all time fave, Creamy Red Lentil Soup. 

I quickly got dressed to go to the store, complete with my jeans and sweater (because I was freezing), and by the time I returned home, I was so hot I could pass out.  So I changed into shorts and a tank, made this delicious soup, and now as I sit here writing this, I'm back to my LLBean slippers and cozy sweater.  Good thing I own a lot of clothes.

So any who, let's get to this dish, shall we?  It's delish, and something you need in your life.  I had made a similar recipe to this before, using green french lentils with a few different spices, but the difference between the green and the red are that the green lentils stay mostly intact and have a very silky texture, whereas the red lentil transforms into a creamy texture similar to a split pea.  

Not only are lentils incredibly easy to make, but they're also dirt cheap.  You can get a bag of red lentils that can make at least 4 if not 5 batches of soup for around $5.00!  Incredible!  So if you're on a budget like me, go ahead and pick up a bag of these - their full of protein and fiber and can be so versatile to cook with.

This time around, I simply used an onion, garlic, 2 carrots and some spices to create this heavenly, easy to make dinner.

I hope you enjoy this creation, and please let me know what you think in the comments below!

Creamy Red Lentil Soup
Ingredients
  • Olive oil - enough to thinly coat the bottom of the pan
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 TBS tomato paste
  • 2 TBS ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp chile powder or cayenne, more to taste
  • 4 C chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 C water
  • 2 cup red lentils
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat and add onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, then add tomato paste, cumin, salt, pepper and chile powder. Stir to combine and cook for another 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in broth, water, lentils and carrots. bring to a simmer, then partially cover the pot. Allow to lightly simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until lentils are cooked.
  3. You can keep the soup like this, or you can use a blender to puree half of the soup into a creamier, thicker soup.
  4. Stir in lemon juice and cilantro, add more salt and pepper if necessary, then serve with grated parmesan and good crusty bread.

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