Monday, March 14, 2011

Red Lentil Soup with Lime


I've been trying to make simple healthy meals lately. Especially those that I can bring as lunch throughout the week. Last night I was craving something light and healthy to balance out the numerous glasses of wine and vodka shots I had last night, which I happened to soak up with a greasy plate of steak and eggs in the morning. So wrong, I know, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do when coconut water and advil just doesn't cut it.

Sometime around 5pm I regained my usefulness and finally parted with the bed. With just a slightly pounding headache, I managed to get some cleaning done before thinking about dinner. It was a good night to make a pot of lentil soup, since it wouldn't create a mess in the clean kitchen, and I could pack up the leftovers to take to work.

The soup came out really good. The star is really the lime juice - it really takes the flavor up a notch. I also think the "no-chicken stock" is key because it doesn't have a specific overpowering vegetable flavor. However, you could use vegetable stock, or even just water, if you can't find it. If you use water, you may need to cook the soup a bit longer to concentrate the flavors, and add more salt.

Red Lentil Soup with Lime
approx. 5 servings

1 T olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 ribs celery, sliced thin
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thin
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Adobo seasoning
4 C "No-Chicken" or vegetable stock
1 C water
1 C dried red lentils
Juice from 2-3 limes (about 1/4C)
sea salt (or kosher salt) & pepper

1. In a soup pot, heat olive oil over low heat and add onions and a pinch of salt. Sweat the onions until tender, about 8 minutes.

2. Add garlic and slowly cook another 2-3 minutes. Add celery, carrots, cumin, tomatoes and adobo. 

3. Add stock and water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the lentils and lower the heat to simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes. Stir from time to time to scrape up any lentils sticking to the bottom. 

4. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lime juice.

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