Lentil soup is a favourite in our house, but as it goes with all favourite recipes, it has changed a bit since I started making it. Nowadays, I serve the soup as it is, I don’t add stuff like quinoa or chicken, and I don’t serve naan with it, because it really doesn’t need it. I also don’t roast the spices in a separate pan any more, I just add them to the vegetables. I don’t soak my lentils, because they cook in 30 minutes even without soaking. I use a teaspoon of sambal badjak instead of the chili powder and I also add 1/2 tsp garam masala. And I use a drop of oil, instead of the butter, because you don’t need a lot of fat to bake everything in (the golden bits that get stuck in the pan will give extra flavour) and you will not taste the difference anyway.
But sometimes it is not possible to use all the different veggies, basically because you cannot buy them in small amounts and will not finish them before they spoil. Or you have something left over that is on the brink of spoiling. Or both, as in my case. I had a large carrot that desperately needed to be used up, so I made the lentil soup into a very delicious carrot-lentil soup, with slightly different spices than the standard lentil soup.
Lentil soup (2 big bowls)
1 tsp oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped (about 500 gram)
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp sambal badjak
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp nigella seeds
1 tsp curry powder
3 cardamom pods
2 stock cubes (I usually use vegetable)
1 cup yellow or orange lentils
juice of half a lemon
salt, pepper, chili powder
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion, cook until soft and translucent. Then add the carrot, cook until slightly caramelized. Add the ginger and garlic, sambal and all the spices, cook until fragrant. Add the stock cubes, lentils and enough water to cover. Cook the soup for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are very soft. Blend, pour through a sieve and press all the liquid from the solids in the sieve. Add the lemon juice and extra water if the soup is too thick. Taste and add extra seasoning (salt, pepper, chili powder) if necessary. Serve hot.