South Indian Inspired Lentil Soup
(Rachel & Josh)
|Group 1: Boil till soft||Group 2: Chop (or food process)|
|2 cups brown lentils (the grocery store variety)||2 medium onions, diced|
|1 cup red lentils*||2-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed|
|1 Knorr vegetarian bullion cube||1-2 chili peppers, cayenne, Serrano or similar, minced|
|Water to cover 2+ times||3/4 inch ginger, peeled and minced|
|Optional: dash or 3 of Asafetida (a.k.a. hing)**|
|Group 3: Spices||Group 4: final additions|
|1 Tbsp butter||1 tsp salt or more/less to taste|
|1 Tbsp oil (any kind you like, or use all oil and skip the butter for a vegan soup)||Juice of ˝ lemon|
|1 ˝ tsp cumin seed|
|1 tsp black mustard seed (optional – it’s mostly for texture)|
|1 ˝ tsp turmeric|
|˝ tsp ground fenugreek|
|handful of curry leaves***|
- Rinse the lentils in cold water a couple times. This cleans the beans and some say reduces flatulence.
- Add the remainder of the group 1 items to pot, and boil till beans are soft, about 1 hr on the stovetop or 3-5 hrs in a crockpot. Add water if it gets too dry, at any point in process.
- Chop the group 2 items, as noted.
- Heat a large frying pan on high/med and add oil and butter, then cumin and mustard seeds. Fry till they pop (1 minute)
- Add the chopped items to pan, then add all the other spices except for the salt. Fry on till browned and soft, about 5 minutes, reducing the temperature and stirring if things get out of control.
- Add fried stuff to soup. Optional: deglaze pan with a bit of water and add that also to soup too.
- Add salt, lemon juice, and taste-test, adjust salt or spice if desired. Let cook for another 15 minutes, min.
**Asafetida supposedly helps with bean digestibility and is used in Indian cooking sometimes as a substitute for onion flavor. It smells like ass.
***Curry leaves are a key flavor element, but can be omitted. They’re hard to find. Sources: Russo’s market in Watertown, or maybe an Indian grocery store. They keep for a long time and also freeze well.