Velvety Red Lentil Soup Recipe
Who says simple can’t be seductive? This velvety red lentil soup could not be easier to make, and once in your bowl, makes a great platform to show off some of the fancier ingredients you may have in your pantry, like premium feta cheese or top-shelf olive oil. If you prefer not to make fried shallots on your own, check out your local Asian markets, a popular topping in many countries, you can find large containers of crispy pre-fried shallots in the condiment aisle.
Ingredients: Serves 4
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 ½ tsp. Kosher salt
- 1 tsp. Black pepper
- 3 Tbsp. Harissa powder
- 2 c red lentils, rinsed
- 4 c water
- 1 28-oz. can tomato puree
- 1 ½ Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
- Feta cheese, for serving
- Fried shallots, for serving
Add the olive oil to a large saucepan over high, then add the onions, carrot, and kosher salt and cook until the vegetables soften and begin to turn golden — about four minutes. Add the smashed garlic cloves and continue cooking for another two minute or so until they become fragrant and the onions begin turning brown, then add the black pepper and Harissa powder and stir well.
Cook while stirring constantly for thirty seconds to toast the spices, then add the lentils, water, and tomato puree; stir well to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are soft.
Remove from heat, add the Balsamic vinegar, and use an immersion blender to puree the soup.
Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve immediately with crumbled feta cheese, crispy fried shallots, and a drizzle of your favorite olive oil.
Allison Robicelli is a James Beard-nominated writer, cookbook author, humorist, chef/owner of the highly-acclaimed Robicelli’s Bakery, occasional TV personality, raconteur, wife, mother, and all-around good time.