Red Lentils with Herbed Basmati Rice and Smoked Paprika Oil


(recipe serves 8)


1/4 C olive oil
2 small yellow onions, small dice
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced

3 T tomato paste
1 T ground coriander
1 1/2 t cumin
1 1/2 t ginger
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t red pepper flakes

3 C red lentils, rinsed
10 C chicken or vegetable stock

Juice of one lemon
2 t salt
1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped

In a large preheated soup pot, add olive oil, onions and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent and garlic is aromatic.

Add tomato paste, coriander, cumin, ginger, cinnamon and red pepper flakes. Stir well and continue to sauté until a slight sticking occurs and flavors bloom.

Add lentils and chicken stock. Scrape up any bits on the bottom and bring soup to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and add lemon juice, cilantro and salt.

Cover soup and simmer until lentils “open up” and soup thickens. Adjust seasoning and serve with basmati rice and smoked paprika oil.

Soup will reveal more depth of flavor after an overnighter in the fridge. This is most always my recommendation. Adjust seasonings after reheating.

Herbed Basmati Rice:

2 C basmati rice, rinsed
4 C filtered water

1 t salt
2 t dried mint
2 t dried dill

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Cover pan with tight-fitting lid, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove rice from heat, with lid on, and allow 10 more minutes of “steaming”. Fluff with fork and serve.

Smoked Paprika Oil:

1/3 C olive oil, not extra virgin
1/2 t smoked paprika

Place olive oil and paprika in a small space pan. Bring to a slow boil. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to steep.

Drizzle over soup.

Serving suggestions:

Lots of warm naan,  a simple tossed salad and you have a very satisfying meal. A Pinot Noir would would be a tasty accompaniment along with a few logs on the fire and a good movie on the tube. Enjoy!


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