This soup is based on Chobani's "Red Lentil Soup" but I've mixed it up a little to create, imho, deeper flavors. I really don't know why the original recipe doesn't call for blooming the spices or sweating the onions in the butter first -- doing either (or both) creates a soup with deeper, more integrated flavors and a superior aroma.
I also used low-sodium fat-free chicken broth instead of water, doubled the amount of pepper, and threw in some sweet curry powder for extra flavor. Swapping the butter out for olive oil and omitting the pepper-infused butter drizzle was just because 1) I have lots of olive oil and 2) I didn't want a buttery soup.
Making this soup was also a great excuse for busting out the jar of Aleppo (halaby) pepper I'd picked up at Penzeys after I'd run out of crushed red pepper flakes. I wanted something a bit less brash and generic than red pepper flakes and the sales associate recommended Aleppo. It has a lovely smoky aroma and the heat is about on par with an ancho chile.
Mellow Lentil SoupYield: 6
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp Aleppo pepper
- 1 Tbsp sweet curry powder [Penzeys Maharajah Style]
- 1 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 cup finely chopped peeled carrot
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 16 oz bag red split lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 2 qts low-sodium fat-free chicken broth [Pacific Organic]
- 4 oz cup plain Greek yoghurt
- Salt and black pepper, as desired
- Heat olive oil, Aleppo pepper, and curry powder in a large Dutch/French oven. Add carrots, onions, and garlic. Cook, stirring regularly, until onion is translucent and everything is very fragrant.
- Add lentils and broth. Bring pot to boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove pot from heat. Stir in yoghurt and process with an immersion blender until desired level of smoothness is reached. Season to taste.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed. Soup will thicken as it sits. If desired, add a bit more broth when reheating to loosen it.
When I make this again, I think I'll cut out the yogurt and replace some of the broth with coconut milk. The yogurt adds a welcome creaminess, yes, but the coconut milk would do the same while eliminating a step. Also, I just like the idea of red lentils, curry, and coconut.