Masoor Dal –Red Lentil Soup
Getting to know a little about the food group we are cooking with “Legumes”: Lentils are rich in proteins and very rich in fiber and vitamins. One of the best vegetable sources of protein right behind soybeans. Lentils should be incorporated in everyone’s regular diet due to it’s ability to help with blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Good to know: They will keep fresh for a few days, if kept in a covered container in the refrigerator . Leftovers are great! As you may know..Lentils are noted in the Bible a few times particularly when Jacob traded lentil stew to Esau for his birthright in Genesis 25:29-34. Another time during the Babylonian captivity of the Jewish people and in Ezekial 4:9.
What’s the meaning of the title of this soup: “ Masoor Dal”… Masoor- meaning a lentil of small orange-red variety. Dal- means dry legumes or an Indian dish made of simmered and usually pureed and spiced legumes.
My thoughts: This soup I will admit takes a bit of preparation but it is absolutely worth every minute I guarantee! I would suggest as a tip to gather your ingredients and do the measuring and chopping ahead of time or start early in the day. Basically, this is not a quick 30 minute meal, although the cooking time for the soup is around that time. Lentils cook fast! Unfortunately for this meal, It’s all about preparation! This recipe your about to view is not the original authentic Masoor Dal recipe (WHAT??).., but slightly better! However, I’m sure the authentic/original is wonderful. I really worked hard putting this recipe together using several recipes as inspiration in hopes of making it wonderful and easy for all who try it. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Spicy Lentil Soup-Masoor Dal Ingredients:
4 cups vegetable broth ( I used “Pacific organic vegetable broth, 32oz –low sodium)
6 cups water (Add 2 more cups of water is adding Potatoes. –I did!)
2 ¼ cup or 1bag of Masoor Dal or Red Lentils (rinsed)
1 fresh garlic bulb (about 9-10 cloves)
1 medium onion –chopped fine
I inch piece of ginger –grated
½ cup green bell pepper- chopped small
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 Pinch + ½ tsp of cayenne (a pinch is about 1/8 tsp)
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
¼ tsp ground mustard (tsp=teaspoon)
½ tsp turmeric
2 tbl tomato paste (tbl=tablespoon)- to carmelize.
4 medium potatoes diced/cubed.
1-2 green chiles or jalepenos
1 lime juiced
2-4 tbl olive oil (more if needed)
½ cup fresh cilantro chopped fine/minced.
2 fresh roma tomatoes –chopped small.
Salt and pepper to taste (for me about 4 teaspoons!)
Pour broth and water in large soup pot. Set aside with lid.
Cut potatoes into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
Rinse Lentils, set aside also.
Chop onion and bell pepper. Mince the fresh garlic and grate the ginger with a grater. Chop the tomatoes. Put onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomatoes and ginger in a bowl. Set aside for sauteing.
Mince the fresh cilantro and place in bowl. Finely chop the green chili pepper or jalepeno and place in bowl with cilantro. Add to the same bowl the lime juice. Set this bowl aside for the last step of cooking the soup.
In a skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Add the onion, bell pepper, fresh garlic, 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon, grated ginger and fresh chopped tomatoes to the skillet and sauté , mixing well over low heat for 1-3 minutes until all vegetables are coated with tomato paste evenly and are soft and mixed well. Take veggies off heat and place back in a bowl. Set aside.
In same skillet, add 2 -3 tbl of olive oil once more. Then add the chopped potatoes, turning often. To the potatoes add the smoked paprika, pinch of cayenne and salt and pepper to taste. Do not cook the potatoes! They will cook in the soup. Just toss them well with the spices and oil over medium to low heat (about 1-3 minutes). Set aside.
Gather your remaining seasonings: Place in a small bowl, ½ tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp ground coriander, ¼ tsp ground mustard, ½ tsp turmeric, salt and fresh ground pepper to taste (about 2-4 tsp of salt). It’s a lot of broth and veggies so be generous! (you can skip this step and add them individually but trust me it is much easier!
Add the rinsed lentils to the pot that is full of vegetable stock and water. Then grab your bowl of sautéed potatoes and dump them in the pot. Then grab the bowl with sautéed onion, tomato, bell peppers, garlic, ginger and the like and pour that in the lentil pot too. Then add the wonderful spice/seasoning bowl to the pot. Keep lid off and turn on High heat. Bring soup mix to a boil. When soup comes to a boil, reduce heat, add chopped hot peppers, lemon juice, and cilantro to pot. Keep covered with lid and simmer on Low Heat for 20 minutes. Take off heat and let sit (if you can wait!) for about 5 minutes or so. This soup is hearty and will serve 5 to 7. Serve with crusty bread and a salad. And a glass of your best white wine. Sweet!! Don’t forget to tell others reading this article who are looking for good ideas how much you enjoyed it! Comment on this blog! Bon appetite!