Once I was reading Marjan's recipes for Persian red lentil soup as well as her red lentil soup with lemongrass I knew I also had to share my favorite red lentil recipe. It's an adapation from The Splendid Table's How To Eat Supper cookbook. I notice that my recipe adaptations usually involve ways to short-cut and simplify. As a working mom with two little girls at home (one only seven months old and requiring her own baby-food) I feel I can justify that. With a few rare exceptions I try to have dinner ready within 30 minutes. So, I short-cut wherever I can. One thing I would never sacrifice though, is the use of fresh ingredients, avoiding any processed foods and trying to incorporate as many wholesome, nutritious ingredients I can. This lentil soup here is wonderful. Quickly done, nourishing & healthy. And I just love the combination with oranges and coriander. It gives the soup such a fresh & fragrant taste. So this soup is for all you busy moms out there (or everyone else busy with their lives and looking for simple nutritious recipes). If you feel like to want to try the original version - which honestly is only a bit more complicated and time-consuming - check the book.
(serves 3 as a main course, 5-6 as a first course)
1 small bunch fresh coriander (cilantro), about 20 stems
3 medium or 2 large onions
4 garlic cloves
one 1/2-inch (1cm) piece fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds
zest and juice of one organic orange
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup red lentils
Juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Wash and dry cilantro. Set a few leaves aside. Peel and coarsely chop onion, garlic and ginger. Place all four ingredients into a food processor and turn into a paste.
Generously firm the bottom of a medium-sized pot with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Stir in the paste and sauté for a few minutes until fragrant. Add ground coriander and orange zest and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Add broth and rinsed lentils and let simmer for about 10 minutes until lentils are tender. Add orange and lemon juice and taste with salt and pepper. Serve with cilantro leaves.