Saturday, February 12, 2011

Curried Lentil Soup

I found this recipe while looking for something to use up my chickpeas. I expected the best part of the soup to be that I didn't need to go to the grocery store to make it. Instead, I found a hearty, flavourful soup that sent me back for seconds on a Saturday afternoon (and I didn't need to go to the grocery store to make it). This is the perfect soup for winter ... and since winter won't be leaving us any time soon, I'm glad it's delicious.

I tried a new method of cooking chickpeas when I made this soup and instructions are included below (thanks, chowhound). It worked perfectly and it was all I could do to keep myself from snacking on the chickpeas while the lentils were cooking! Allegedly, you can freeze the chickpeas after they've been cooked so it's quicker for your next dish. I froze the extras and will have to report back later on how it goes. If you're using canned chickpeas, this recipe is quick enough for a weekday evening. The original recipe calls for 1 medium onion and 1 carrot, chopped. I had sitting in my freezer a combination of 1/4 cup each chopped onion, carrot, and celery, so I used that. Feel free to omit the celery. I skipped on the green onion and lemon wedge garnishes and used canola oil for part of the recipe because the only olive oil I have right now is the good stuff and that seems a waste for sauteing vegetables. I also used chicken stock in place of the water to add a bit more flavour.

One Year Ago: One of my favourite desserts, Chocolate Souffle Cupcakes with Mint Cream

Curried Lentil Soup (from

1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup carrot, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped, divided
2 tablespoons (or more) curry powder (I used madras masala)
1 cup French green lentils
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup dried chickpeas or 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter

1. Cook chickpeas (if needed): Rinse chickpeas. In a dutch oven, cover chickpeas with water at a level twice as tall as the chickpeas. Preheat oven to 350F. Bring water to a boil on the stove. Cover the chickpeas and place in the oven. Cook for 90 minutes or until chickpeas are soft. Drain.
2. Heat canola oil in heavy large pot over medium heat (or your newly drained dutch oven).
3. Add onion and carrot; sprinkle with pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.
4. Add half of chopped garlic; stir until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 4 minutes longer.
5. Add 2 tablespoons curry powder; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
6. Add lentils and broth. Sprinkle with pepper. Increase heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, puree chickpeas, lemon juice, water, olive oil, and remaining garlic in processor.
8. Add chickpea puree and butter to lentil soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional curry powder, if desired. Add water by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency (mine didn't need thinning, but I like thick soups).

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