Spicy Red Lentil Soup With Magic Potion


1 1/2 cups red lentils, washed and soaked for 1 hour, drained
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large tomato, diced
1 green serrano chile, split and seeded, diced
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon lime juice
Honey, to taste
Chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish


In medium saucepan, over medium heat, saute onions, for a few minutes. Then add in the tomatoes and drained lentils and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Add enough water to cover. Bring to boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Whisk the cooked lentils to release some of their starch and break them down further.
In small saute pan, warm the canola oil over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook until they are sizzling and spluttering. Stir in the turmeric and paprika. Pour the seasoned oil into the lentils (be prepared for a big sizzle). Stir to combine, add lime and salt, to taste, and a small drizzle tiny amount of honey. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with cilantro.




I chose to make this soup for its simplicity, interesting ingredient list and spices that I already carry in my pantry. It is another recipe from Aarti Sequeria of the Next Food Network Star. The soup is not only healthy, but it’s full of unusual flavors that come together so nicely.

When I began to prepare the soup, I realized that I have to serve it with a little drizzle of honey… I thought I will just skip this step since I did not want any sweetness in my soup. Well, my perspective changed when I tried serving it to my younger daughter, Ariana.

So here is what happened:

I finished making the soup just in time for lunch. I tried serving it to Ariana and my neighbor’s kids first, since they were all playing together. My neighbor’s kids liked it and started eating their soup, but not my picky eater. She did not even want to come near it. So I decided to break their playtime so she will have a healthy lunch.

After lot of convincing, she decided to try it. However, she was still not that in love with the taste. She was only trying to eat so that I can take her to see her cousins later.

Then, getting agitated, I went back to my kitchen and decided to taste the soup with a tiny drizzle of honey. Wow! It was like magic… the flavors of the soup all of a sudden were more intense and tasted even better.

I had a new game plan… I decided to drizzle an itsy bitsy amount of honey into Ariana’s bowl and convinced her to have it again. I told her that I had added a magic potion in her soup and it is now much better than before. I also told her if she has the soup she’s going to be smarter, stronger and prettier.

It worked! She had the soup and I was proud of her to try something so new and different.

I did play with the recipe just a tiny bit to my own taste preference. If you want the original recipe, please click here.




Friday, July 30, 2010 - 6:02pm


Related Cooking Videos