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Lemon Lentil Soup

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Best soup ever.

Lemon-Lentil-Soup-Tall

If you’re looking for a bland, mushy lentil soup recipe then you have come to the WRONG place. This lentil soup is different from so many others. First off, the texture. Unlike so many other lentil based soups, it’s not mushy. It’s not quite creamy or chunky either. It’s just the best of all worlds. Even the texture of the lentils themselves is easy to customize to your own preferences. Cook for less time if you like lentils a bit al dente, or more time if you prefer softer lentils.

Lemon-Lenil-Soup-Sq

What’s really out of this world about this soup though is the flavor. The lentils simmer with onion and garlic, then cook in chicken stock to make a delicious broth. A splash of lemon juice and a sprinkling of cilantro take the flavor of the broth up to a whole other level. The flavor combination is perfect – nothing is too strong or too weak.

Lemon-Lentil-Soup-ABove

And have I mentioned how easy this soup is to prepare? Similar to my simple Avgolemono Soup, you dump some ingredients in a pot and let it simmer away for a while. Come back in about half an hour and you have soup. And not just any soup, but a seriously delicious and healthy soup!

P.S. Here’s the original recipe source. My version has extra lemon flavor and added cilantro!

Lemon-Lentil-Soup-Long

Lemon Lentil Soup

Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes ( or more/less depending on tastes)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups brown lentils
  • 6 c chicken stock (may use vegetable broth for a vegetarian option. I’ve tried both and prefer chicken stock.)
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • 1/4 c chopped cilantro
Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. When the oil is warm add the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft.
  2. Stir in the cumin and lentils, followed by the chicken stock. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Reduce the cook time for firmer lentils, or lengthen cooking time for softer lentils.
  3. Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.
  4. Serve hot (or let cool if you prefer)!
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Curry Lentils with an Egg

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I found a recipe for Spiced Lentils with Eggs on theKitchn a while back. I loved the idea, but when I tried the recipe I wasn’t a fan of the garam masala taste. I add garam masala to flavor plenty of foods, but it’s not something I love as a main flavor (that’s just me – if you enjoy give the original recipe a try). I added some curry powder to my next batch and this time I did love the flavor!

Curry Lentils with an Egg 1

While my curry flavored lentils with an egg were delicious, I knew that as a meal it was really lacking in the vegetable department.  Adding an onion and some leafy greens made me feel a lot better about the vegetable content of this as a meal.  I’ve used both spinach and kale successfully – delicious either way!

Curry Lentils with an Egg 2

This meal is cooked in two steps. First, the lentils, spices, and vegetables are combined and cooked. The second step is to bake the lentil mixture, topped with an egg. You can bake the lentils in 4 or 5 ramakins right after preparing the lentil mixture on the stove or store the mixture in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it. Since I eat this one serving at a time I tend to store a big container of the lentils in the refrigerator. When I’m need a lunch I scoop some into a ramakin, microwave it for 2 minutes to warm up the lentils, crack the egg on top, and then bake. I know it sounds weird to microwave something before baking it, but I’ve found that this method really works the best when using refrigerated lentils. Otherwise, the baking time ends up being much longer.

Curry Lentils with an Egg 3

This has quickly become one of my favorite lunches. The curry lentils are so good on their own, and even better with an egg. It’s something about the smoothness of the egg against the spices and slight firmness of the split peas. I find myself fishing through my eggs looking for the largest ones each time I’m making this, just so I get more to eat!

Curry Lentils with an Egg 4

Curry Lentils with an Egg

modified from The Kitchn.
See post for modifications for baking one serving at a time.
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 c red lentils
  • 1 c green split peas
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or a minced garlic clove)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs curry powder
  • 4 c chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 c chopped spinach or kale
  • 1/3 c chopped cilantro
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper for seasoning (optional)
Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium/large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, stir, and cook a few minutes until the onion is softened.
  2. Add the lentils, split peas, broth and stir. Stir in the garam masala, garlic powder, and curry powder. Bring to a boil. Cook for about 30-45 minutes. The red lentils will cook down into a mush and the split peas will be the texture of al dente pasta.
  3. Stir in the spinach/kale and cilantro.
  4. Preheat oven to 350.
  5. Grease 4 small ramekins or glass dishes and scoop lentil mixture into each. Crack and egg on the top of the lentils, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for about 20 – 30 minutes, or until the egg is opaque and mostly set. Let sit for a few minutes before eating to let the egg finish cooking.

P.S. I’m going to use this recipe for my submission to this week’s Gluten Free Wednesday at Gluten Free Homemaker. Thanks to Linda for organizing the event! Check out the event; there are lots of great recipes and meal ideas there!

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