Saturday, February 25, 2012

Middle Eastern Inspired Red Lentil soup

It has been a crazy couple of weeks. I had a busy travel schedule with my new position. On top of that, I fell from the stairs while I was taking my bag downstairs to get ready for the airport. Thank goodness I didn't break anything, but I had a bad sprain and I was in a brace since. Finally I felt good enough to go to Momi's yoga class. I was amazed with the range of motion that she was able to get me to do.

Since I felt better and can finally be on my own 2 feet, I need to do some cooking. It's a cold day here in Minneapolis, soup would just be perfect. When I was at Whole Foods, I saw a recipe of Red Lentil soup, I thought I would come up with my version. In this recipe, I added a Middle Eastern spice mix za'atar, it's a mixture of toasted sesame, sumac and thyme. You can make your own, here is a link: Za'atar recipe. It is also readily available in Middle Eastern or Greek grocery stores. There is so salt in there if you decide to buy a mix, please make sure your taste the soup before adding more salt. This is a nice quick soup, takes less than 1/2 hour!

Red Lentil soup with yogurt and mint
1 1/2 cup red lentil (Masoor dal), washed and remove any debris.
1 medium size onion, diced.
2 carrots. Cleaned, peeled and diced
1 full tbsp crushed garlic
1 full tbsp za'atar spice
11/2 tbsp tomato paste
6 cups vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
1/4 cup think Greek yogurt
Chopped fresh mint to taste and garnish
Sprinkle of additional Za'atar spice
In a small pot or dutch oven, heat a couple tbsp olive oil. Saute garlic and onion till translucent.
Add carrot, cooked for 3-4 mins.
Mix in lentil.
Add za'atar spice
and tomato paste, mix well.
Add stock. Bring to a boil, lower to simmer.
Cover and let the soup cook for about 20-25 mins till the lentil is soft and the soup thickened.
Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
To serve, ladle the soup in individual serving bowl. Add a dob of yogurt, sprinkle with chopped mint and a dash of za'atar spice.

If you like a little more spice, you can add crush pepper in the soup with the za'atar spice.



  1. Me needs to get a dutch oven. I've been looking for a Dal recipe like what I experienced in India. I have a bag of lentils waiting to try this!

  2. Speaking of dal, the best investment I made was to get a electric pressure cooking. 30 mins to wonderful dal!