These recipes are the concoctions of (fictitious) cartoon comic chef extraordinaire, Sherri’s neighbor and cooking mentor, Chef Chumley. Chef and Sherri are happy to bring them to you on Wednesdays and Fridays.
I was going through my kitchen cabinet the other day and noticed that we had stockpiled a lot of red lentils. What to do…what to do…? Chef Chumley asked what other ingredients I had accumulated, so I mentioned rice and mint. So voilà! Here is a warm, spicy, exotic-tasting soup, for your eating pleasure! Add sour cream or croutons for optimal flavor (or as garnish, as shown in photo below).
Livin’ La Vida Lentils (aka Minty Red Lentil Soup)
Prep time: 15 minutes • Cook time: 45 minutes • Yields: 12 servings
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced tomatoes, drained
10 cups chicken stock
1 cup uncooked red lentils
1/2 cup fine bulgur
1 large bell pepper (red, orange or yellow), chopped
½ head large cauliflower, chopped
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons paprika
3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt to taste
Sour cream or croutons (optional)
Sautee the onion in the hot oil in a large pot until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes. Next, pour in the diced tomatoes and cook (stirring regularly) for 10 more minutes.
Add in the chicken stock, red lentils, bulgur, bell pepper, cauliflower, rice, tomato paste, onion powder, garlic powder,paprika, mint, turmeric, black pepper and cayenne pepper (optional) to the onion, garlic and tomato mixture. Add salt to taste. Bring the soup to a boil, the n reduce heat to medium-low, and cook at a simmer until the lentils and rice are cooked (about 25-30 minutes).
Let soup cool for a few minutes, and then pour into a blender (no more than halfway). Once covered, slowly start the blender- using a couple of short pulses to get the soup moving before setting it to puree. Puree in batches until smooth and then serve. You can also use an immersion blender and puree the soup in the cooking pot instead.
Sour cream or additional items, such as croutons, may be added as desired.
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