Red Lentil Soup
Here's a substantial soup for cold winter days! This Red Lentil Soup is filled with vegetables of the warm orange hue: orange cauliflower, carrots, rutabaga, and sweet potatoes, along with a hearty broth of red lentils flavored with cumin, curry, and cayenne. I also included some red kidney beans an a little chopped cilantro.
A bowl of this hot soup makes a meal and provides a powerhouse of protein and vitamins. You could also make this a great stew by using a little less water and serve over rice. The eggplant pesto adds a smoky depth to the flavor that I really liked. Jalapenos would also be fabulous in this dish, but I wanted to test the curry flavor on 6 year old Sweetpea (she liked it!) so I decided not to risk making it too hot.
Red Lentil Soup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 rutabaga, peeled and chopped (small)
3 carrots, sliced
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
pinch of cumin seeds
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup vegetable broth
3 cups water
1/2 cup red lentils
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp smoky eggplant pesto (optional)
1 cup orange cauliflower, cut into small florettes
1/2 cup+ red kidney beans
chopped cilantro to garnish
Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and saute the onions for 3 minutes. Add the rutabaga, carrots, and pinch of cumin seeds, stir well, cover, and cook 3 minutes. Add the sweet potato and cook 2 additional minutes.
Add the vegetable broth, water and lentils, turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and add the cumin, curry powder, cayenne, and tomato paste. Simmer for 15 minutes, partially covered. Salt. Add the cauliflower, red kidney beans, and eggplant pesto (if using) and cook an additional 8 minutes. If the broth is too thick for your liking, add additional water. Check seasoning. Serve topped with chopped cilantro.