A quick sunny soup for almost any weather or season. The ingredients are simple but the flavors are complex. A good trick for making soups without the layered flavor of a broth is to blend spices and seasonings and add the liquid as a quick broth. Here I added lemon, garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger and water to make a quick broth for the red lentils.
Here's the recipe:
1 large onion, small diced, about 1 C
3-4 large garlic cloves, or amount to taste
1 tsp sea salt, adjust to taste
fresh ginger, 3 inches, washed
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp coriander seed
2 small lemons, peel and pith cut off
8 C water, plus more as needed
4 C red lentils
1 small bunch parsley, about 1/2 C chopped
In a large heavy bottomed pot, sweat onions with a tablespoon of olive oil, covering the pot, and stirring occasionally until onions are translucent. While onions are sweating, put garlic, salt, ginger, cumin, coriander, lemons and 6 C water in a blender. Blend till smooth. When onions are done, add the lentils and the blended mix. Stir and let cook at medium low until red lentils are tender. Add more water if soup is getting very thick. It should be thin enough so there's no chance of burning on the bottom. Keep in mind that the soup will thicken as it cools because of the nature of lentils.* Turn heat to lowest setting, adjust salt and stir. Add 2 T olive oil (or to taste) and parsley. Cover and let cook 15 minutes to let flavors blend.
Garnish ideas: a wedge of lemon on the side, chili pepper particularly aleppo or kirmizi pepper, extra virgin olive oil or pumpkin seed oil, coarse sea salt, more parsley or other fresh herbs.
*Thick red lentil soup is great as a veggie dip or cracker topping the next day.