02 April 2009

Lemon Red-Lentil Soup

En français ici.
I know, I know, spring is right around the corner and the time for soup is coming to an end (hot soup that is, because I'm looking forward to gazpacho and fruit soups in the months to come). Still, it hasn't warmed up for good here and there was just time to try a recipe I've had bookmarked for a little while. The recipe has a bit of a story (like all good recipes). It originally comes from a Melissa Clark recipe in the New York times and was included in a quart of the soup that came to Tea, from the wonderful blog Tea & Cookies, during the winter Soup Swap (an absolutely amazing idea that I may very well have to start up in Paris next year). Tea adapted the recipe and posted about it in her entry Year of the Lentil. I bookmarked it and finally got around to testing it a couple days ago (making my own tiny adaptations of course -- nothing much because it already looked amazing).

Soup pictured here in a duet with another wonderful bookmarked recipe oeufs cocotte à la fondue de poireaux from the blog Papilles & Pupilles.

I was already a red lentil convert, usually making them Indian style, or else in simple soups (without any of the fancy touches this one has). I'll definitely be making this again though. It's delicate, and delicious, a perfect soup for spring after all.

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion (or 2 small), chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
a pinch of cayenne (optional)

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup red lentils
1 large carrot, sliced

a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon but it really depends on taste)
chopped chives and crème fraîche or yogurt to garnish

Heat the oil in a pot. Sauté the onion and garlic on medium high heat until golden, about five minutes.

Stir in tomato paste, cumin, black pepper and cayenne (if using), and sauté another couple minutes.

Add the broth, lentils, and carrot. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until the lentils and carrot are soft, about 20-25 minutes.

(Both Melissa and Tea blend their soup at this stage. I don't have an immersion blender and was too lazy to take it out of the pot, put it in a mixer and then back into the pot, especially since lentils are natural mushy. I thought the soup was wonderful without puréeing it, but feel free to do so if you prefer.)

Add lemon juice and salt as desired (depending on the saltiness of your stock).

I served it topped with crème fraîche and chopped chives (the original recipe says cilantro, but I'm one of those people who doesn't do cilantro and I thought the chives were perfect).

I'm submitting this recipe to this week's Bookmarked Recipes, which is hosted by Ivy over at Kopiaste.

Here's how it works:

1. Pick a recipe from a book/magazine/blog/website/tv show and make it.
2. Blog about it
- include where you got the recipe in your blog post (including a link to their website if possible)
- include a link to this post or this blog in your blog post
- include the logo (see above) for Bookmarked Recipes in your blog post
- include a photo of your recreation on your blog post
3. Email both ivyliac@gmail.com and bookmarkedrecipes[AT]gmail[DOT]com, mentioning Bookmarked Recipes #48, with the following information:
- Your name
- The name of your blog
- The URL for your blog
- The permalink for your entry
- A photo of your entry
- A note of where you got your recipe from

Ivy has also given me this award, which I've been remiss in not posting post (sorry Ivy!).

The rules for this award say to:

Include the award logo in your blog or post.
Nominate as many blogs which show adorability, cuteness and charm.
Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

I'm sending this award along to:

Deeba at Passionate About Baking, because I was paired with her for the BloggerAid Best Friends event and I'm newly discovering her wonderful and charming blog. I'm looking forward to getting to know her (and then I can properly introduce her to you!).

Alex at Just Cook It, mostly because I'm sure he will fully appreciate the manliness of this award, especially since he's taken to posting some very manly pictures in his impressive (seriously though) Nose to Tail series.

Cicero Sings, because with all this puppy talk over on her blog these days, the adorable quotient is high!

And finally to Giz and Psychgrad at Equal Opportunity Kitchen (although I think Ivy awarded them as well), because their blog is charming (especially as the ideas for wedding cupcakes piles up) as well as being practical and delicious.


Passionate About Baking said...

Thank you my dear BA BFF, you are indeed a sweetheart & we'd better get to know each other better. I love bopth the soups you've posted, as well as the pretty little pots they're in. We use the red lentil often, but it does look better in your soup!! Have a great day,MUCH LOVE...xoxoxo Deeba

Ivy said...

I am cooking red lentils as we speak but the usual Greek style. If I had your e-mail an hour ago I would certainly would have changed my mind and make these as they sound delicious. I love cilantro but I also like chives as well.
Thanks for sending the recipe and for mentioning the award. They all deserve it.

giz said...

Awww shucks...thank you so much for the award.

Tea said...

So glad you liked it! It's in serious rotation in my kitchen these days. Yum.

Love your little pots as well. Charming.

Sam said...

This is just my kind of soup it looks beautiful, I really like the pots you've served it in too!

D.K. said...

Well, I've know for a long time you were adorable... Ooops, sorry, they were talking about your blog! Wrong topic, I'm out ;-)

Hopie said...

Deeba - Aw thanks! Let's email sometime soon :-)

Ivy - Ooh, I want to know what the usual Greek style is. You should give this soup a try and tell me what you think.

Giz - My pleasure!

Tea - Thanks for introducing it to me!

Sam - Thanks. Yea yummy and attractive, doesn't get much better than that ;-)

D.K. - ::blushing::

Cicero Sings said...

We love lentil soup too and I'll have to try your version soon. I too thought the soup swap that Tea talked about a marvelous idea ... fun too.

Thanks for the award but you realize, my puppy isn't coming until SEPTEMBER! But my sister-in-law gets hers in July ... still a few months off yet. There's not too much "adorable" around here at the moment. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

If you start up the soup swap, I'm totally in!

Psychgrad said...

Thanks for the award! I like the idea of a soup swap. I've starred this one - I really need to just take the plunge and cook with lentils.

Apples and Butter said...

That soups looks delicious. It was a beautiful and warm weekend here in So Cal, but I'm told we have rain on the way so it may be the perfect time to make another cold weather soup tomorrow night. Delicious!

Apples and Butter said...

Also - oeufs cocotte à la fondue de poireaux looks absolutely delicious. Any chance of a translation or your version of the recipe? I can't resist anything with runny egg yolks!

Joie de vivre said...

We are in a weird transition time right now, is it warm? is it Spring? is it still cold? I think soups are fine for this time of year. It looks wonderful.

Hopie said...

Cicero - I've had a couple very good lentil soups but I definitely recommend giving this one a try!

Camille - Good! I'm counting on you!

Apples and Butter - Thank you. I'll try to post a translation when I get a chance. It is quite delicious!

Joie de Vivre - Glad to see we're on the same page ;-)

Just Cook It said...

*blush* thank you x