I frequently click on the links that I’ve posted on this blog (look under “Labels” on the left side of the page). With a few cool-for-June days, a recipe for Orange Lentil Soup with Curry Powder and Spinach from Sarah Kiino’s Avenue Food site appealed to me. I made it last night, and present the recipe (and Avenue Food’s photo, posted with Sarah’s permission) here — with my inevitable little modifications, which I’ve noted in orange. My version is slightly “less Indian” than the original, but it was nevertheless delicious. The recipe on the Avenue Food site did not give yield, but three of us each had two brimming soup plates full of this soup, and there’s some left over.
BTW, if you want to know more about the lentils specified in the recipe, see the posting on lentils on the Hooked on Heat site’s intro to Indian cooking. That site translates maoor dal as “red lentils,” which is what Boulder’s Ideal Market also calls them, but on the color wheel, they are definitely orange.
ORANGE LENTIL SOUP WITH CURRY POWDER AND SPINACH
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon good-quality sweet curry powder (I used regular supermarket-quality curry powder, because that’s what I had)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or up to 1/2 teaspoon)
2 bay leaves
2 cups orange lentils (masoor dal), picked over and rinsed
6 cups chicken broth (organic vegatable broth)
1 14.5-oz can tomatoes, passed through a food mill (pureed lightly with an immersion blender)
1 russet potato, peeled and cubed (optional) (I did use one potato)
Leaves from one bunch spinach, washed well and cut into ribbons (or just torn into pieces)
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute onion in a little oil until transluscent. Add garlic and saute for another 30 seconds or so. Add tomato paste, curry powder, cumin, and cayenne and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add lentils, tomatoes, bay leaves, chicken broth, and potato. Partially cover, bring to a boil, and cook until lentils and potato are tender, about 20-30 minutes, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. (Before serving, check to make sure the potato cubes are cooked through.) Remove from heat and puree soup a bit with an immersion blender (but don’t make it too smooth). (I did not blend the soup at this stage, but left the lentils whole)Return to heat, stir in spinach and salt and pepper to taste, and cook for a minute or so until spinach is wilted into the soup.