I live near Devon Street in Chicago, a diverse neighborhood known for its Indian cuisine and stores. I love Indian food, and especially dahl, lentil soup. Making your own lentil soup is easy, inexpensive and good for you. And if there's a Trader Joe's near you, most of these ingredients are pre-measured in their original packaging for an even faster meal. This soup is just what you need on a cold winter's night. Or if you're not near Devon Street.
Serves 6 - 8 (The recipe is easily halved).
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion. diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 Tablespoons curry powder
1 28 oz can (or 2 cans of 14 oz each) of diced tomatoes undrained
1 pound dry red lentils
1 quart vegetable stock
1 quart water
1 bag (6 oz) pre-washed spinach
salt and pepper to taste
lime wedges (optional)
Heat the oil in a dutch oven or other large pot on medium heat and saute the onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, pinch of salt, the spices and stir for about a minute, until the garlic and spices are fragrant. Then add the diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
Stir in the lentils, stock and water. Bring to a boil then simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes. Add salt to taste. Simmer for a few more minutes until the lentils have thickened the soup. Then add the fresh spinach and stir until wilted. Serve with lime wedges.
For a complete meal, feel free to include naan, Indian flat bread. Or substitute naan for pita, hummus and tabbouli salad with the lentil soup. Enjoy!