Brain-Healthy Lentil Soup

Christina Ferrare recently published a book called Food for Thought which contains brain-healthy recipes. We’re sharing one of her tasty recipes: South African Red Lentil Soup with Spiced Oil

SPICED OIL:

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove smashed
2 teaspoons dried mint, crumbled
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

INSTRUCTIONS:
Add all of the ingredients into a Mason jar or small glass container with a lid. Shake well and set aside at room temperature until ready to use.

 

SOUP:

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon of salt and pepper
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups water
10 ½ ounces (1½ cups) red lentils
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 lemons, one sliced thin, the second into 8 wedges

INSTRUCTIONS

In a soup pot on medium heat add onion and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Add in the garlic cloves, salt and pepper cook for 1 minute.

Add cumin, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne and tomato paste, mix together well. Turn the heat to low and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly.

Pour in 1-1/2 quarts of chicken or vegetable broth, bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Pour in the lentils and bring to boil, then turn the heat to low. Simmer stirring occasionally until lentils are soft—approximately 30 minutes or more. Taste to see if they are cooked through, the lentils should be soft but not mushy. If you see the soup is too thick add-in more chicken or vegetable broth ½ cup at a time. Stir in lemon juice and correct seasoning adding a pinch of more salt if needed.

TO SERVE

Use a ladle to add soup into individual heated bowls. Drizzle each portion with 2 teaspoons of the spiced oil, or more depending on how spicy you like it. Sprinkle with cilantro, garnish with thinly sliced lemons and serve with a wedge of lemon on the side. Soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. (Thin the soup and reduce thickness with chicken or vegetable broth when reheating.)

COOK’S NOTES:
Save any leftover spiced oil and use over omelets, eggs, avocado toast, creamy soups, grilled fish and veggies.

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