Lentil soup with cilantro gremolata

Lentil soup

To serve 6

2 cups of lentils (French/or your favorite) (stones/grit removed and rinsed)
Group 1

2 cloves of garlic smashed/minced
1” of garlic root peeled and minced
1 cup of carrots chopped
1 medium white onion chopped
1 cup of celery stalks chopped
Group 2

2 medium tomatoes chopped
1 small can of tomato sauce (4-6 Oz)
1 Tbsp of tomato paste (more if you like the rich tomato flavor)
Group 3
2 Bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
Pinch of turmeric powder
1 Tsp of garam masala (all spice)
1 Tsp of cayenne (optional)
Salt, pepper to taste
6-8 cups of stock/broth/water
Saute group 1 in 2 Tbsp of OO for about 5-6 minutes till the onions change a little color. Add Group 2 and continue sauteing on medium heat for another 5-7 minutes till the veggies wilt down further.
Add lentils and saute for a couple of minutes till well incorporated. Add Group 3 and about 4 cups of the liquid (stock/broth/water). Mix well and cover the pot and cook on medium heat for 10-12 minutes. Add the rest of the liquid and continue to cook covered for another 12 minutes or so till the lentils are cooked to your liking.
You can increase/decrease the amount of liquid depending on how you like your soup. (Thick/thin). Also the volume of stock used would depend on the lentils you use. So taste the lentils at every stage to ensure the desired level of cooking.
Remove/discard the bay leaves and the cinnamon stick before serving.
Serve with the cilantro gremolata and a squeeze of lime. 
Cilantro gremolata 

1/3 Cup of fine chopped cilantro
1 clove of garlic minced
Zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp of OO
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix the above together and serve as a garnish/condiment immediately. 

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