Sunday, February 3, 2013

Cream of Red Lentil Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

This Cream of Red Lentil Soup might also be called "When You Just Don't Have It In You To Care Soup." I succumbed to the flu this weekend big time with all its aches, chills, combination runny nose and stuffed sinuses, cough and fever. Not at all pretty. Leaving the house, heck leaving the couch since Friday has not been an option. I needed something easy and low-effort that I could make from the pantry or things I had on hand and something soothing to the throat. It's not a particularly photogenic soup (and I didn't have the energy to pretty it up with a fancy garnish) but, it is comforting and easy to eat.  

This Madhur Jaffrey recipe just has a few basic ingredients. Lentil type wasn't specified and red are a fast cooking choice. I replaced the heavy cream with half the amount of coconut milk creamer to make it non-dairy. Also the recipe called for pureeing the mixture and putting it through a sieve--so not happening and not necessary for the soft red lentils.

Cream of Red Lentil Soup 
Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cooking 
(Serves 4)

1 cup lentils, picked over, washed and drained (I used red lentils)
1 medium-sized onion, peeled and chopped
1 tsp salt or to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream (I used 1/2 cup non-dairy coconut creamer)
1/4 tsp ground, roasted cumin seeds (I used 1/2 tsp)
2 tsp lemon juice, or to taste

Put the lentils, onion and 3 cups of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer gently for 1 hour. 

Puree the lentil mixture in a food processor or blender. Add 3/4 cup water and blend again to mix. Push this mixture through a sieve into a clean pot. Make sure you push all the pulp through and leave only a small quantity of skins behind. (Note: I omitted all of this and after cooking the lentils for 30 minutes, went right to adding the remaining ingredients and simmering together for a few minutes to blend flavors.)

Add the salt, pepper, cream, cumin, and lemon juice. Mix and bring to a simmer. Taste for seasoning.  

Notes/Results: Not a fancy or pretty soup, but very soothing and good when you aren't feeling up to cooking or eating much. I love the smokiness of the cumin and the brightness of the lemon. I would make this again. 

This soup is also my entry for this week's Give Me Comfort! theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs.

Let's take a look in the Souper Sunday kitchen and see who is here. 

Janet of The Taste Space brings a thick stewy Smoky One Pot Beans and Bulgur with Kale and says, "Easily modifiable to your pantry surpluses.  Tess uses rice and beans, but bulgur and cooked beans make this an even simpler dish. It has been a while since I’ve gushed over bulgur, but sometimes I forget until I unearth it again from my pantry.  Smokey from liquid smoke, creamy from a touch of oil, snappy with some nearly raw garlic and wholesome with some shredded greens. Beans + grains + greens, a force to be reckoned with."

Mireille of Chef Mireille's Global Creations is back this week with Thai Sweet Potato Vegetable Soup and says, "Thai food is one of my favorite cuisines and was surprised to see how little Thai recipes I have on this blog.  If you a Thai food aficionado like me, you are sure to love this soup. ... Out of all Thai curry pastes (yellow, orange, red, green, Massaman & Penang), Penang is the mildest, so if you prefer a spicier soup, feel free to add some fresh red chiles.

Please join me in welcoming  LyndaB of The Auld Grey Mare, joining us at Souper Sundays this week for the first time. She brings a cozy Cheeseburger Soup and says, "...the Cheeseburger Soup was delicious and filling to make up for what there wasn't, and since it contains cauliflower, we weren't totally vegetable-less. This recipe comes from the Wheat Belly Cookbook - we've tried 3 recipes from it now, and all three are winners, so I'm very happy with this cookbook!"

Elizabeth of The Law Students Cookbook offers up a hearty Slow Cooker Lentil Cauliflower Stew and says, "This week’s slow cooker meal was another lentil dish. I’ve been going through a lentil thing lately. I’ve been using them a whole lot. This stew has lasted multiple days. I made it on Tuesday and I’ve had a bowl everyday since then. Tomorrow will be the day I kill the last of it".

Joanne of Eats Well With Others is here with warming Chipotle Black Bean Soup with Avocado Cream and says, "I've had quite a few successes recently but by far my favorite has been this chipotle black bean soup with avocado cream.  It carries quite a bit of heat, which is perfect to accompany this frigid weather we've been having, with that plop of avocado cream on top having a much appreciated cooling effect. Unfortunately, I had finished off the batch last week because it would have been ideal for stress-slurping last night.  Lesson learned.

Finally we have one salad this week from Tigerfish of Teczcape - An Escape to Food, this Warm Quinoa Salad with Broccoli, Egg, Roasted Dried Anchovies and Peanuts. She says, "Salad is the norm. How about Sushi? Omairashu? "Rice" cakes? And how do you see quinoa playing a part in all of them? Consider a plate of "Nasi Lemak" look-alike made with quinoa sans the coconut milk. No lemak (coconut cream), no nasi (rice). Rather, a healthful plate of veggies (roasted broccoli and carrots) with quinoa topped with egg shreds, ikan bilis (dried anchovies) and peanuts."

Thanks to everyone who joined in this week. If you have a soup, salad, or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the sidebar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. Love it! You are better than me. When I am sick, I can barely fathom photographing my food. I made some good sick soups lately but I'll need to remake them to get the photos. ;)

  2. Oh no, Deb. I'm so sorry to hear you are sick with the flu. How in the world did you manage to put this together and then do the roundup as well? I can't imagine. This seems like a very comforting and soup. I hope you are enjoying a bowl and having some much deserved down time.

    Feel better soon!!xoxo

  3. I hope this soup made you feel at least slightly better! It does sound super warming and comforting.

  4. HOpe you have well recovered from the flu, Debs. Thanks for the round up.


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