I’m not a big fan of curry but Bill really likes it. So over the last couple years I’ve warmed to it by trying some recipes that contain curry. I am, however, a big fan of lentils but have trouble finding recipes that aren’t bland. That’s why I was happy to stumble upon this recipe for Curried Lentil Soup, in the December issue of Bon Appetit. It definitely is not bland!
This recipe uses French green lentils, which I happened to have on hand from my favorite gourmet food store, G.B. Russo & Son.
Aren’t they beautiful? (It got me thinking: How do lentils grow? Turns out, lentils are seeds in pods, on plants that grow about 15 inches high. And Canada is the largest exporter of lentils in the world. Who knew?)
One thing that makes this soup especially tasty is the addition of chickpeas, which are pureed with lemon, olive oil, and garlic as if you were going to make hummus. It’s pretty quick and easy to make, too.
After sauteing carrots, onions, and garlic in olive oil, you add the curry, lentils, and water. I didn’t add the whole 2 tablespoons of curry the recipe calls for, just to be conservative. Remember, I’m not a big curry fan! I think it turned out fine with 4 teaspoons. (Plus, you can always add more at the end if you’d like.)
Then let it cook about half an hour. Meanwhile, puree the chickpeas with garlic, lemon juice, water, and olive oil.
When the lentils are done, they won’t be mushy like red lentils.
Then you stir in the chickpea puree. The recipe also calls for butter but I didn’t use it, due to Bill’s cow dairy allergies. Also, the soup is garnished with green onions, but I didn’t have any. Instead, I went out to my My Winter Herb Garden and snipped some fresh cilantro, which was a nice complement to the soup.