This is a very quick but warming and filling soup to have as a main course. Red lentils are critical because they are split and quick much faster than other lentils. They are also sold under the name Masoor Dal.
In the photo, it is served with avocado toast made with naan and sprinkled with curry.
Makes 3-4 servings
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 1″ piece of ginger, peeled and very finely minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T. canola or other neutral vegetable oil
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. turmeric
1 T. double strength tomato paste (regular tomato paste can be substituted, just add 1 1/2 T.)
1 t. kosher salt (or more to taste)
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red split lentils, rinsed
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock plus 1/2 cup water or 2 1/2 cups water
1 cup of canned pumpkin (this should not be sweetened or have any ingredients except pumpkin)
3-4 shakes of hot sauce (more to taste)
1 T. red wine vinegar
2 scallions and sour cream to garnish
- Heat the oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy pot.
- Add the onion and ginger and saute for 3-4 minutes until the onion is beginning to become translucent.
- Add the garlic to the pot and saute for 1 minute more until you can smell the scent of the cooking garlic.
- Add the cumin and turmeric and stir to combine all the ingredients.
- Add tomato paste, salt, and pepper and stir to combine (it will now be a lumpy paste on the bottom of the pot).
- Add the lentils, pumpkin and the chicken stock or water to the pot and stir to combine.
- Raise the heat to medium, partially cover the soup and bring to a simmer.
- Adjust heat to keep the soup gently simmering and cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally so the bottom does not burn.
- Reduce the heat to low and vigorously whisk the soup by hand. This will break up the lentils and leave the soup with texture but not whole lentils. [For a smoother soup you can use a stick blender, but I like some texture.]
- Thinly slice the scallions.
- Place the soup in bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and scallion slices.