Today is “reveal day” for Group B of the Secret Recipe Club, created by Amanda of Amanda’s Cookin. So far, everything I’ve tried for the Secret Recipe Club has come out really well, including Baked Portobello Mushroom Fries, Anzac Cookies, and Seven-Layer Dip. This club has grown so rapidly that Amanda has created four different groups that have a different reveal day during each month. I am part of Group B, hosted by Tina of Moms Crazy Cooking. The idea behind the Secret Recipe Club is to give bloggers the chance to try each other’s recipes without the other bloggers knowing it until everyone posts their results.
As I looked through Island Vittles’ recipe index, I spotted a Red Lentil Soup recipe and knew that I had to try it. Red lentils are one of my favorite legumes in soups. They break down and become creamy when cooked long enough. Last year, I made a simple Red Lentil Soup and taught seniors how to make it during a series of soup classes. Theresa’s lentil soup recipe uses lots of spices, including cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon, right up my alley.
As Theresa suggested, I pureed this lentil soup into a smooth blend instead of leaving it chunky. I used an immersion blender at first, but ended up putting the soup into a blender to get it extra smooth. This soup was pretty spicy (I love it hot!) so if you’re not into heat, halve the cayenne pepper.
I served this Spiced Lentil Soup with some coconut milk to take away some of the heat. To add some texture and interest to the soup (and to make it more photo friendly), I took an idea I found in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table cookbook and topped the soup with a contrasting garnish – crunchy apples and toasted walnuts. Apparently in France, a bowl of soup is accompanied by some crunchies in the bottom of the bowl before pouring the soup, or on top of the soup.
Spiced Vegetarian Red Lentil Soup
This soup is fairly spicy and quite thick, so halve the cayenne pepper for a milder soup, and add more stock if you like. I would highly recommend drizzling some coconut milk and sprinkling some crunchy apples and toasted walnuts on top.
- 1 cup leek, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1/2 cup carrot, diced
- 3/4 cup yam, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Garnishes: coconut milk, chopped apples, toasted walnuts
- In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering.
- Sweat the leek, celery, carrot and yam until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, lentils, spices, bay leaves and salt and pepper.
- Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
- Add vegetable stock, increase heat to medium high, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and the lentils are breaking apart.
- Remove from heat, remove bay leaves and use an immersion blender or blender to puree until smooth.
- Reheat gently, season with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with coconut milk, chopped apples and toasted walnuts.