Brian decided to give up meat for Lent (while not inconveniencing anyone). Anyone that is, except me. I have been looking for new recipes and trying different things, it has actually worked out pretty well. But, there are certainly nights were I say, screw it, we are having flank steak.
I decided to make this soup I found on Heidi’s blog, 101 Cookbooks. We were at a friend’s house before dinner and they asked what I was making. My response was, “oh just a boring soup since B gave up meat for Lent.” Is it just me, or do all of us non-vegetarians look at vegetarian meals as kinda uninteresting? I mean we eat a decent amount of meatless dishes, but there is still this idea that vegetarian food = missing out.
You will not miss anything with this soup. It is very unique, very healthy, and super flavorful. There is a sweetness and texture that you get from the onions that is just amazing. It does incorporate turmeric and cumin so beware if you are having company over.
We all really loved this soup, especially Nora who had trouble eating it and spilled all over her new summer shirt. We can’t seem to keep clothes clean around here (that goes for all of us). So if you see a little girl with a a stained blue and white stripped top, don’t judge, she needs to wear it more than once.
Red Lentil Lemon Soup
adapted from 101 Cookbooks
2 cups red lentils – rinsed
1 TBS turmeric
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion – diced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 cup chopped cilantro
3 lemons – juiced
1 large bunch of spinach leaves – chopped
In a stockpot add the lentils, 7 cups of water, the turmeric, and 1 TBS of butter, and 2 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer (covered) for ~20 minutes or until lentils are soft and breaking up. Then puree the soup in a blender of with an immersion blender add water until desired consistency. (I think the soup is best a bit thinner).
Meanwhile heat a skillet over medium heat and add 2 TBS of the butter, the onion, the cumin, and the mustard seeds. Cook (stirring occasionally) for ~ 10 minutes or until soft. Then add the cilantro and cook for a few seconds, remove from pan and reserve in a small bowl. In the same pan, add another TBS of butter and cook the spinach until just wilted, salt.
Add the juice of 3 lemons to the soup (or to taste), then add the onions and the spinach. If reheated the soup, you may find you will need to add more water at that time.
**The recipe from 101 Cookbooks calls for brown rice and Greek yogurt as garnish, but I found the soup to be best on its own.