This soup is delicious, so don’t be put off by the rather electric color of it, which results from the turmeric. For those of you who are fans in general of lentil soup, this is a must try. The consistency is pleasing, and the flavor packs a big punch. Serve with warm flat bread, or crispy pita triangles.
adapted from: Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone
serves 6 (I filled many containers with the leftovers!)
2 cups split red lentils, picked over and rinsed several times
1 tablespoon turmeric
4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, finely diced, about 2 cups
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground mustard
1 bunch chopped cilantro, about 1 cup
juice of 2 or 3 limes, or to taste
1 large bunch of spinach leaves, chopped
1-2 cups cooked rice (recommended: brown or saffron)
4-6 tablespoons greek yogurt, plain
Put the lentils in a soup pot with 2 ½ quarts water, the turmeric, 1 tablespoon of the butter, and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are soft and falling apart, about 20 minutes. Puree for a smooth and nicer-looking soup. (An immersion blender is easiest here.)
While the soup is cooking, prepare the onion flavoring: In a medium skillet over low heat, cook the onion in 2 tablespoons of the remaining butter with the cumin and mustard, stirring occasionally. When soft, about the time the lentils are cooked or after 15 minutes, add the cilantro and cook for a minute more. Add the onion mixture to the soup, then add the juice of 2 limes.
Taste, then add more if needed to bring up the flavors. The soup should be a tad sour.
Just before serving, add the last tablespoon of butter to a wide skillet. When foamy, add the spinach, and cook just long enough to wilt. If the rice is warm, place desired amount in the bottom of each bowl. (If it’s leftover rice, add it to the soup and let it heat through for a minute.) Ladle the soup over the rice and divide the spinach among the bowls. Swirl in a spoonful of yogurt.