Egyptian Red Lentil Soup

I just had my wisdom teeth out, so on top of not being so smart anymore, I have to eat soft food. Luckily, I know a few recipes for delicious soft food. The original recipe involves a fried onion topping, which looks wonderful yet chew-intensive. Luckily, lentils and a stick blender yield a gently textured, full flavored product that I’ll happily eat even with teeth.

3 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1/2 t dried thyme)
1/2 t cayenne pepper or ancho chile
1/2 t sweet smoked paprika
3 large, ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
2 T tomato paste
8 c beef stock (vegetable stock makes this vegan!)
salt and pepper to taste (how much salt depends on your stock – taste often)
2 c red lentils
1 lemon, juiced

Pick over your lentils for any unwanted debris. Heat oil to medium high in a soup pot or deep dutch oven. Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic and sauté until soft. Add spices and stir well into vegetables, cooking for a couple of minutes until very fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes, until they begin to break down. Add tomato paste and stir well. Add stock and reduce heat to medium low – soup should not boil. Season with salt and pepper and add the lentils. Simmer 30-40 minutes (reducing heat to low, if necessary), until lentils and vegetables are very soft.

Remove soup from heat and process with immersion blender (or purée in batches in a heat-safe blender) until desired texture is achieved. Remember, it will thicken as it cools. If soup is still too thin, bring it back to a simmer for a few minutes. Check seasoning and stir in lemon juice. Serve with additional wedges of lemon and yogurt.

4 thoughts on “Egyptian Red Lentil Soup”

  1. shoreacres

    I used to cook red lentils a good bit, back in the days when I was hanging out with a guy who was Peace Corps India, and a whiz bang cook. He taught me a lot of Punjabi recipes, most of which I still have. This looks like a good addition to the stash, and I’m eager to try it.

    And yes — I’ve known people who’ve experienced that post-sedation wooziness. I just had my first cataract surgery last week, and while I wasn’t ever dizzy, I kept getting time-for-a-nap tired for about 48 hours.

  2. Steven

    Well that sounds fabulously delicious. I wonder if I could find lentils here…

  3. Sarah

    Is ‘here’ still Japan? That sounds like potentially challenging grocery shopping.

  4. Rachel_Munich

    It does sound very delicious! Hope the tooth hole’s now feeling better. My dentist had to take a chunk of jaw out with the tooth (he claims it was necessary), and I spent the first few days finding even apple sauce was way too hard.

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