Spicy Red Lentil Soup*
This is my version of a curried red lentil soup, adapted & evolved from a recipe I got years ago from Carole. I'm sure that the curry powder & garam masala are probably redundant, but, well, I'm not really trying to be any sort of authentic here, plus I find that the combination of the two gives great flavor without being too hot for little palates. If you've got everything on hand, it's quick to throw together & just leave simmering on the stove until dinnertime (like most curried soups, this one is even better the next day, too). Don't forget to add the lemon juice at the end -- it really brightens up the flavor.
2 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dry ginger
1 tsp garam masala
1/2-1 tsp curry powder (the smaller amount makes a kid-friendly slightly spicy soup)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 c red lentils, rinsed & drained
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 medium carrot, peeled & diced
1 medium potato, peeled & diced
6 c water
2 tsp salt
2 T lemon juice
Heat the olive oil in a big pot over medium heat; saute the garlic, ginger, garam masala, curry powder, & cumin for a couple of minutes (keep a close eye on the garlic so it doesn't burn).
Add the lentils, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, water, & salt to the pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer & cook, partially covered, for about 40 minutes. When the carrots & potatoes are soft, puree the soup (either use a stick blender to puree it right in the pot or use a regular blender to puree about half of it at a time). The soup should be nice & thick; if it's too thin, just simmer it, uncovered, a little while longer. Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice & taste for salt.
I like to serve this with a scoop of plain goat yogurt on top, toasted pita bread triangles for dipping, & a simple green salad.
*also just called Spicy Soup, also called Spicy Soup That's Only Called Spicy Soup Because It's Not Really Spicy, Is It, Mommo?