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February 29, 2012

Recipe for chipotle red lentil and tomato soup (slow cooker or stove top)

Chipotle-red-lentil-and-tomato-soup

A recent pantry clean-out unearthed a large bag of red lentils, purchased a few months ago on a visit to our favorite Indian grocery store in the New York neighborhood where our children live. I love red lentils in soup; they taste a bit "sweeter" than brown lentils, and they break down almost by themselves into a smooth base. They don't have a lot of inherent flavor, so they're happy to get a boost from warm or spicy seasonings like cumin, coriander, curry powder, cinnamon, urfa biber pepper, or chipotles. After cooking, I puréed this soup with my immersion blender, and stirred in some plain, nonfat yogurt to play off the smokiness of the chipotle. For a vegan variation, you can substitute an equal amount of coconut milk for the yogurt.

Chipotle red lentil and tomato soup (slow cooker or stove top)

Serves 6.

Ingredients

1-1/4 cups red lentils
1 small onion, diced
1-1/2 cups chopped tomato (I like Pomi brand)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1/2 Tbsp chipotle pepper powder
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, finely minced
2 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp kosher salt (or more, to taste)
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper (or more, to taste)
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Directions

Slow cooker method: Add the lentils, onion, tomato, cumin, chipotle powder, chipotle pepper, and agave nectar to the slow cooker. Pour in 3 cups of water. Stir everything together.

Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours, or until the lentils begin to collapse. Turn the slow cooker off.

Carefully, with an immersion blender, purée the soup until it is as smooth as you like it. Or, let the soup cool for at least 15 minutes, then process in batches in a food processor or stand blender. Pour the soup into a bowl, and whisk in the yogurt and cilantro. Taste, and adjust as needed with more salt, pepper and agave.

Stove top method: Add the lentils, onion, tomato, cumin, chipotle powder, chipotle pepper, and agave nectar to a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot. Pour in 3 cups of water. Stir everything together.

Turn the heat to high, and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until the lentils begin to collapse. If the soup is thickening too quickly and the lentils haven't finished cooking, add more water, 1/2 cup at a time. Remove the pot from heat.

Carefully, with an immersion blender, purée the soup until it is as smooth as you like it. Or, let the soup cool for at least 15 minutes, then process in batches in a food processor or stand blender. Pour the soup into a bowl, and whisk in the yogurt and cilantro. Taste, and adjust as needed with more salt, pepper and agave.

Serve hot, garnished with cilantro leaves.

Print recipe only.

Comments

1
Posted by: susan g | March 1, 2012 at 03:20 PM

When will there be enough time for all these soups? This looks incredible!
I just had a red lentil soup for lunch, with preserved lemon, blended --MM!

2
Posted by: Jeanette | March 1, 2012 at 07:15 PM

Lydia, this soup sounds fantastic. I favor red lentils and love how they break down so nicely in soup. Bookmarking this - I think the ladies in my soup class would really like this, so hearty and healthy.

3
Posted by: Lydia | March 1, 2012 at 11:14 PM

Susan, that sounds delicious. Believe it or not, I'm out of preserved lemons and must make more -- they'd be great in this soup, too.

Jeanette, the soup isn't too spicy, and I think your class would love it. And very healthy, and very budget-friendly, too.

4
Posted by: Alexis | October 9, 2012 at 07:28 PM

I just made this soup today and it is DELIGHTFUL!!! Being Greek, I am used to making a very different type of lentil soup. This was my first time cooking with red lentils and it won't be the last. Thanks for the tasty and incredibly effortless recipe!

5
Posted by: Kathi | December 21, 2012 at 09:36 PM

I love soup! I had some killer lentil soup last night which has left me searching the internet for more...can't wait to try this version!

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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