I’m going to guess that you're new to lentils. You might have seen them on a menu or eaten them at your vegetarian cousin’s house…but cook them yourself?... rarely!
If you’re new to lentils (and even if you’re not) this recipe for Red Lentil Soup with Yogurt Sauce is going to turn you into a raving lentil fan. The warm spices of this satisfying soup are topped with tart yogurt sauce which focuses the flavor and adds a creamy finish.
Benefits of lentils
High in fiber and protein, lentils are not only good for you, but also easy to prepare. Unlike dried beans, lentils require no soaking before cooking. Most types of lentils will cook in 15-20 minutes.
Different lentils for different recipes
I keep an assortment of lentils in my pantry, each with their own unique characteristics.
- Red lentils have had the outer skin removed so they cook quickly and even break down into a soft consistency – perfect for velvety soups. Red lentils are the “gateway” lentil that will convince you to try all of the others.
- Green and brown lentils take longer to cook because they have a skin that protects the interior of the lentil from cooking. They hold their share during cooking, so they can be used in chili, tacos or meatloaf as a meat extender.
- Black or Beluga lentils are small lentils with a nutty flavor that hold their shape well. They make an intriguing addition to rice pilaf or other grain mixtures. I have a harder time finding these lentils, especially in my small town, so I stock up whenever I’m at a Whole Foods.
Lentils are often referred to as "legumes" or "pulses" and are an important part of a plant-focused eating plan. Plant-forward eating is a way to nourish your gut with high fiber foods. Lentils are an outstanding food for supporting the diverse community of bacteria living in your digestive tract. Give them a try!
Red Lentil Soup with Yogurt Sauce
- Immersion blender or whisk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 4 cups water
- 1 pound red lentils picked over and rinsed
- Freshly ground pepper
- Sliced green onion for garnish
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice about ½ lemon, juiced
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and salt, sautéing until the onions soften and become translucent.
- Stir in garlic, curry powder, coriander, cumin and cayenne to the onions and continue to cook for 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes, broth, water and lentils and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer vigorously until the lentils turn soft and begin to break apart, about 15 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking, prepare the yogurt sauce. Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients and refrigerate.
- Using an immersion blender, blend the soup into a smooth consistency. If you don't have a blender, use a whisk to vigorously mix to soup until it becomes pureed.
- To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls and garnish with a swirl of yogurt sauce and chopped green onion.