Lentil soups are great this time of year when the season is lean, and fresh local produce consists mostly of tubers and squash. Lentils are extremely economical. Added bonuses: they cook up quickly, and have a wholesome, delicious nuttiness.
This soup is adapted from one in the Dean and Deluca Cookbook. If you keep the spices and lentils on hand, you can quickly pull it together after school or work.
Start to finish, the soup should take you about 30 minutes to make.
Actually, it will take you about 20 minutes (I added an extra 10 minutes for you to enjoy a glass of wine).
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon of mustard powder
9 ounces of red lentils
4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock + 1 cup of water
The juice and the zest of one lemon
1 cup of whole milk Greek yogurt, divided
1/4 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
Aleppo pepper for garnish (you can also use sweet paprika as a substitution)
How to prepare:
1. In a large Dutch oven, melt together the butter and the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook it until it begins to turn translucent. Add the spices to the onions, stirring frequently to make sure that the spices toast, but do not burn. Continue to cook the onion until it begins to turn golden.
2. Toss the lentils with the onions and the spices. Add the stock, the extra cup of water, and a heavy pinch of salt. Bring everything to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer the lentils until they are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Once the lentils are tender, add the lemon zest and half of the yogurt to the soup. Continue to simmer everything together until the consistency is nice and smooth. Adjust the seasoning.
3. In a small bowl, combine the remaining yogurt with the lemon juice and the parsley. Stir everything together until the consistency is smooth and silky.
4. Ladle the soup into bowls. Top each serving with a swirl of the yogurt mixture and a sprinkle of Aleppo pepper.