Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lentil and cilantro soup

It's winter, so soups are in order. This one was inspired by a simple lentil and cilantro soup that came with a meal Josh and I enjoyed last winter break in Montreal at an afghani restaurant called Kyber Pass. I've added carrots because their taste just marries well with lentils and I also added onion and garlic.

Pick over 1/2 cup of green lentils and add them to a pot with 5 cups of vegetable broth or cold water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer until the lentils are soft, about 4o minutes. Don't salt the broth or water; doing so will prevent the lentils from softening.

Meanwhile, peel 4 carrots and cut them into very small pieces. Mince half a medium onion and three cloves of garlic. Wash and mince about half a cup of fresh cilantro. Sautee the carrots, onions and garlic with in a generous amount of olive oil over low heat until the carrots are just soft, about 10 minutes. While this cooks, add about a teaspoon of cumin and salt and pepper to taste. At the very end of cooking, add the cilantro, stir and cook a few more minutes.

When the lentils are done, add the carrot, onion, garlic and cilantro mix. Add more water if you want a more liquidy soup, and adjust the salt if necessary.

Makes two generous portions or four first course servings.

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