Red Lentil Soup

The original recipe for this Red Lentil Soup was given to me by dear friend, Nurit Barkol. I added the carrots and basil to the original recipe because I felt that it worked well, but other than that, I have been making this soup exactly as Nurit taught me over 30 years ago.

Lentils come in a variety colours that range from yellow to red-orange to green, brown and black. This soup is made with red lentils, tomatoes and carrots which create a soothing and creamy soup with a warm red-orange colour and deep flavours which are a joy to the eyes as well as the palate.

1 cup red lentil
I chopped onion
1 carot diced
2 ripe tomatoes, cubed
3 tbsp. olive oil
5 cups water
2 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves OR I tsp. dried basil

Rinse the lentils well in cold water

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the chopped onion and diced carrot. When the onion is soft and golden, and the carrots are softened, add the chopped tomato. Cover the pot and cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes.

Add the rinsed lentils to the pot and sir well to coat the lentils. Add the water, salt, pepper and basil leaves and simmer on medium-low heat until the soup is think. The lentils will almost disintegrate during cooking leaving you with a thick, creamy textured soup.

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Soups are easy to make and are terrific first courses for dieters. Vegetable-based broths fill you up without being high in calories or fat.

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Miso-fermented soybean paste-adds flavour to stocks, especially vegetarian broths. Add a tablespoon or so per quart of water, or to taste. Marmite can also add great flavour.

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Homemade vegetable broths can be kept in the freezer in individual serving sized portions to be used as a base for a quick meal.

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If you heat your spices for a minute or so over medium heat before adding them to your recipe it will enhance the flavour. Add dried herbs at the beginning of the cooking time, and fresh herbs right before serving.

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