Recipe for curried red lentil and yogurt soup
One of my favorite ways to make soup is to start with ingredients from one point on the color spectrum. Sometimes I go for browns, or greens. Today, it's red/pink/orange/gold. Throw some red lentils and matching vegetables into a slow cooker, add an onion (of course), then look for spices to match. Smooth out the whole thing with some Greek yogurt at the end. The result? Rustic, earthy, but not heavy. Definitely a warmer-weather soup that's good hot or cold. Pair it with a sandwich, a few samosas, or bread and cheese. (My cat, Gyllen, couldn't resist the aroma of this soup; he kept trying to get into the photo, and finally succeeded.) The recipe includes both slow cooker and stove-top instructions.
Curried red lentil and yogurt soup
2 cups red lentils
1 cup chopped tomato (I use Pomi tomato)
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 Tbsp sweet curry powder
1-1/2 tsp ras el hanout (or a mix of cumin and turmeric)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
6 cups water
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
In a 4-quart slow cooker, place the lentils, tomato, carrot, onion, curry, ras el hanout and cayenne. Add 6 cups of water, and stir to combine. Cook on HIGH for 3 hours.
(To cook on the stove top, place lentils, tomato, carrot, onion, curry, ras el hanout and cayenne in a small Dutch oven or heavy soup pot. Add 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook, partially covered, for 2 hours. Check water from time to time, and add 1/4 cup at a time if the lentils start to stick. Then, continue with the directions below.)
Using an immersion blender (carefully!), or in batches in a standing blender, puree the soup until smooth. Add lemon zest, yogurt, and plenty of salt and pepper. Using the blender again, or a whisk, process the soup to incorporate the yogurt.
Serve hot, or chill in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and serve cold.