Red Lentil Soup

Red Lentil Soup

Charlie spotted this recipe in the New York Times on 1/9/2008. We tried it and it has become one of our favorite recipes. Delicious and easy to make. And the red lentils cook fast, even at Albuquerque's mile-high altitude. We've modified it but only very slight. Below is how we make it.
Course Main Course, Soup/Stew
Servings 4 generous servings


  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 or 2 T tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt (omit if broth is salty)
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground chili powder or cayenne
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 or 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 or 2 celery stalks, diced (optional)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • chopped fresh cilantro (optional)


  • In a large pot over high pot, heat the oil. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden.
  • Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder or cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add broth, lentils and carrot. Bring to a boil, then partially cover pot and turn to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, 30 or more minutes depending on altitude.
  • Use an immersion blender, half-purée the soup. Leave it a little chunky
  • Stir in lemon juice.
  • Serve with cilantro (if you wish) and drizzled with olive oil. Can also dust lightly with chili powder if you wish.

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