Saturday, August 21, 2010

Spinach Soup with Red Lentils

This is less of a soup and more of a dip ... or at least mine turned out quite thick. It could be that I added too much spinach (I didn't weight, although my guess is I added less and not more). The recipe calls for Balti masala (a spice blend he recommends you make yourself), but feel free to use any masala that you like (he also suggests grinding whole cumin and coriander seeds, but that also was not going to happen ... one day!). Finally, this soup is quite green, so be prepared for vibrant colours. Scaled down version below. Feel free to double it. The original serves 6.

I was somewhat surprised with how well this turned out (provided you like lentils and spinach). He says to serve it with slices of sourdough bread (it's a contemporary curry, not traditional). I ate this as a dip primarily with copious amounts of baguette.

Spinach Soup with Red Lentils (adapted from 660 Curries)

1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 serrano chiles, diced
1 tbsp canola oil
1 small red onion, sliced (I did not scale this down)
3 cloves garlic, minced
340g spinach, rinsed
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp Balti masala

1. In a small saucepan, combine lentils and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, 18 - 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and stir fry. Add the garlic 5 minutes or so later. Cook until onion is light brown, 5 - 10 minutes total.
3. Add serrano, cumin, and coriander and cook for another 1 - 2 minutes.
4. Add spinach a few handfuls at a time, stirring until wilted, 1 - 2 minutes per batch.
5. Add cooked lentils and 1/2 cup water.
6. Pulse with immersion blender. You don't want the mixture to be completely smooth.
7. Simmer over medium heat for another 5 minutes and serve.

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