Looking for the kind of zesty lentil soups you can find at Lebanese restaurants? This lemony soup may fit the bill. Perfect for a chilly day as a light meal or addition to a meal, this soup is aromatic, hearty without being rich and full of flavor. Get red lentils for this, which are orange-hued split lentils that will burst as the soup of bubbling and thicken. If you want a smooth soup, remove the bay leaf and blend; an immersion blender will be most convenient but any blender will do. I like the varied texture of this soup unblended, personally. No matter, be sure to serve with lots of freshly ground black pepper, which is a great complement to the refreshing lemon. If you want a thicker soup, use less broth.
I created this recipe for the Instant Pot but if you don’t have one or don’t want to use it, follow these same cooking instructions in a pot, but boil for about 30 minutes for the lentils to soften.
1 tablespoon olive oil 1 yellow onion, diced 2 cups carrots, diced 2 stalks celery, sliced 1 tablespoon minced garlic 2 cups red lentils 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon ground pepper 1 bay leaf 8 - 10 cups vegetable broth 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in the Instant Pot under the sauté function for one minute.
Add the onions and sauté, stirring often, for 4½ minutes. Add the carrots, celery and garlic, and sautée for two minutes. Add the lentils, cumin, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, add the bay leaf and vegetable broth. Turn off the Instant Pot and reset to cook for 17 minutes.
Quick release. Remove the bay leaf, add lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. This is great served with a lemon wedge.
Protein, Lentils. Soup, Main Dish, Entrée, Instant Pot
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