A couple of you eagle-eyed observers mailed me about the bowl of soup pictured in the last photo at the bottom of the roasted lemon chutney. It's worth asking about, so I thought I'd share it this week. The soup in the photo was a variation of Deborah Madison's Red Lentil Soup with Lime from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. What you see up above is a lemon version of the soup I cooked to go with the lemon chutney & goat cheese toasts in that Roasted Lemon Chutney post.
A couple notes related to this soup. To make things simple, this is the sort of thing that is ideally made when you already have leftover rice, farro, etc., on hand. Because the soup has a number of components, starting with leftover rice helps keep one less pot on the burners. Deborah's version is a bit more brothy than this one straight out of the gate. I use a bit less water to start with, which allows me to thin it to my liking later on in the process.
Also, while the recipe calls for spinach, other greens work well - sautéed kale, chard, etc. Leftovers are excellent and it freezes well (keep the yogurt separate from any soup you think you might want to freeze).
This soup is incredible alongside a good wedge of sourdough. You can see the bread above is slathered with goat cheese and this lemon chutney. So good!
More Lentil Soup Recipes
Red Lentil Soup with Lemon
An easy way to make this soup vegan is to swap olive oil in for the butter. You might do a creamy swirl of coconut (or cashew milk) in place of the yogurt.
- 2 cups / 14 oz / 400 g split red lentils, picked over and rinsed well
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- fine grain sea salt
- 1 large onion / ~ 2 cups, diced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- Juice of three lemons, or to taste
- 1 large bunch of spinach leaves, chopped
- plenty of cooked (warm) brown rice, to serve
- plenty of plain Greek yogurt, to serve
Put the lentils in a pot with 7 cups / 1.6 l water, the turmeric, 1 tablespoon of the butter, and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are soft and falling apart - twenty minutes or so. Puree with a hand blender. Add more water until the soup is the consistency you like, then taste and add more salt if needed. Keep the soup warm/hot.
While the lentils are cooking, prepare the onion. In a skillet over low heat cook the onion in 2 tablespoons of the remaining butter along with the cumin and mustard seeds, stirring occasionally. When the onions have softened, roughly 10 or 15 minutes, add the cilantro and cook for a few seconds before removing from the heat. Add the onion mixture to the soup, then add the juice of the lemons, one lemon at a time - until the soup has a nice bit of tang. Also, add more salt to taste at this point if needed.
Just before serving, add the last of the butter to the skillet, when hot add the spinach and a good pinch of salt. Stir well, and cook just long enough for the spinach to collapse.
Serve by placing a scoop of rice in each bowl, then soup, spinach, and a dollop of yogurt.
Adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone