I spent the last couple weeks in Arizona, helping my PhD advisor teach a course. We were in Flagstaff, which is at 7,000 feet and isn’t the warm and palm-treed version of Arizona people typically think of. But, I did get to escape to Sedona for a couple of days to play and have a bonus visit with my brother. Sedona is only a 45 minute drive from Flagstaff — a drive that is mostly downhill through countless switchbacks — so it is much much warmer there. The weather was perfect. I soaked in the 65+ degree temps, let my skin absorb the endless sun, inhaled the silent desert air, and stretched my legs out on the trails. It was an unexpected gift in the middle of winter.
Now that I’m back in the cold and grey, it seemed appropriate to make some soup. I made a few recipes today, a couple which were so so, and not blog-worthy. But, after the first bite of this soup, I knew I wanted it in the recipe box so I could make (and eat!) it again. The lemon brightens the lentils and the cayenne finish really makes it a winner. It almost makes me feel happy its soup season. 😉
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne, more to taste
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 1 cup lentils
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- Juice of 1 lemon, more to taste
- 3 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
- 1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until onion is just starting to wilt, about 4 minutes.
- 2. Add the tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and cayenne, and sauté for another minute.
- 3. Add the broth, 3 cups water, lentils and carrots. Bring to a simmer, then turn heat to medium-low and partially cover the pot. Simmer for 45 minutes, or until lentils are soft.
- 4. With an immersion blender, purée the soup until about of it is blended and half is still chunky.
- 5. Stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve soup dusted with a pinch of cayenne.