Madison
51° F
Overcast
Overcast
Advertisement

Red lentil soup with pita croutons

Published On: Aug 27 2012 05:38:06 AM CDT   Updated On: Jan 12 2015 05:06:17 AM CST
Boiling pot, soup

rubenshito/SXC

Makes 7 cups - 6 to 8 servings

This fragrant recipe was inspired by an Egyptian soup that is sold by street vendors in Cairo. Served with fried onions and pita croutons, it’s a great main course. Red lentils don’t retain their lovely salmon color when cooked, but still, they're delicious. Take care not to overcook them; they should be tender, but not mushy.

For the soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
8 cups vegetable or chicken stock, divided (make stock from cubes, concentrate, or powder)
1 ¾ cups dried red lentils
2 carrots, finely chopped
½ cup coarsely chopped celery leaves
Pinch of red pepper flakes
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the garnishes

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 Mediterranean or Greek pitas, halved horizontally
6 lemon wedges

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and coriander; stir for about 30 seconds.

Stir in 6 cups of the stock, lentils, carrots, celery leaves, and red pepper flakes. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 cups stock and the lemon juice. Season to taste.

While the soup is cooking, prepare the garnishes. Adjust the oven broiler rack to 4 to 5 inches from the heating element; preheat the broiler. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Place the pita halves on a baking sheet; toast under the broiler until crispy and light brown, about 2 minutes per side. Let cool, then break into 1-inch pieces.

Top each serving with a mound of the cooked onion and sprinkle with the pita croutons; serve a lemon wedge on the side.

Variation

Substitute brown lentils for the red lentils; increase the cooking time to about 35 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

Advance preparation

This soup will keep for up to 5 days in a covered container in the refrigerator. When reheating, stir in vegetable stock or water to thin as desired. Store the pita croutons for up to 5 days in a tightly covered tin at room temperature.

Advertisement
  • CSX crash 3

    DC Fire and EMS

    Train derails in DC

    A train derailed in Washington, D.C., near a metro station Sunday.

  • PHOTOS: 27 tons of documents destroyed during BBB Shredfest 2016

    The free BBB Shredfest event Saturday offered anyone with documents containing personal information to shred up to three bags. Destroying documents is one way to protect one's identity and thwart fraudsters.

    More than 1,600 cars stopped by two Madison locations from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, and 27 tons of documents were shredded, a Better Business Bureau representative said. The sites were at SVA Certified Public Accountants, 1221 John Q Hammons Dr. and Warner Park, 2930 N. Sherman Ave.

  • Elise Romas

    PHOTOS: Thousands take part in 34th annual CrazyLegs 2016

    The 34th annual CrazyLegs Classic 8K Run and 2-mile Walk Saturday raised money for UW Athletics. As of Friday night, 13,000 people had signed up to participate, and organizers expected more to register Saturday morning before the race begins in waves at 11 a.m.

    WINNERS: Pat Jenkins, 24, of Cambridge, is the top finisher in the men's category. UW law student Jessa Hackman, 24, of Madison, is the top female finisher.

Advertisement