You know the saying “sisters before misters”? It’s true, and I have the spicy lentil soup recipe to prove it. For the record, no, I never thoughts those two things would go together, either, but they do.
You may or may not know that I was married once before. What led to that decision when I was in my early twenties is a
story novel for another day, but the important thing here is that my dear college girlfriends gave me a very lovely wedding gift – a book full of recipes from their families, interspersed with lots of photos from our college days. My friends were scattered across the country but whenever I opened that recipe book, it was like they were in the kitchen with me.
I still have that book and continue to use it often. It has accompanied me to four different residences, and those girls and their recipes have been with me through thick and thin. The friendships have lasted well beyond my first marriage and have seen me into my current very happy marriage. (Second time’s the charm!)
Here’s the book, and thankfully there’s a page without a photo evidencing my extremely questionable fashion sense in college. (Though admit it, overalls were pretty comfy. Okay, you’re right, no excuse. But my friends loved me anyway, thank goodness.)
One of the recipes in the book is from my dear friend Rae of Books for Mom. She tells me that she tweaked it from one she had seen in Cooking Light about 15 years ago. It’s warm and comforting, much like Rae herself.
Spicy Lentil Soup Recipe
1 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can of fat-free chicken broth (you can also use vegetable broth)
1/2 lb of dried lentils, rinsed and sorted*
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 t. paprika
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. crushed red pepper (more if you like it spicier)
In a large pot, saute the garlic in olive oil until lightly browned and then add broth, tomatoes, lentils, spices, and 1 can water. Simmer until the lentils are on the point of disintegration (depends on lentils, for whole lentils around 90-120 minutes), replenishing water as needed.
You can serve it as it is after that, but it’s a bit chunky. If you like it that way, great (but read this post should you think it is wise to criticize your hostess’ preference on the subject.) I like it a bit smoother so I use an immersion blender (also known as a stick blender or a hand blender). You can make it perfectly smooth if you like, but I usually go somewhere in the middle.
Note: I’m not a huge fan of spicy food, so I go light on the crushed red pepper and allow my husband, the spicy guy, to add as much as he likes to his bowl. That’s why we have the ginormous bottle of crushed red pepper flake you see in the photo above. Another option to kick up the heat is to use hot pepper olive oil (Trader Joe’s has some) and drizzle a little on top.
This recipe serves 2. It also freezes well, so I typically double it. It’s the perfect simple winter supper with warm bread.
Check back next week when the simple soup series continues with Corn Chowder.
* I used split red lentils for some color but you can use whatever lentils you have.
You may also like: Fast and easy 4 ingredient Black Bean Soup Recipe
Prior post: Tween review of Mako Mermaids Season 2
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