This Hearty Vegetarian Lentil Soup with Zesty Flavors Will Awaken Your Tastebuds!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ cups onion, peeled. 1/3″ dice
- 3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled, 1/3″ dice
- ½ cup carrots, peeled, 1/3″ dice
- ½ cup leeks, whites and light greens, cleaned and chopped
- 3 teaspoons Baharat Seasoning*
- 2 cups red lentils, rinsed and picked through
- ¾ cup ripe pear, peeled, 1/3″ dice
- 8 cups vegetable broth, preferably homemade (can use chicken broth if not vegan)
- 4 tablespoons fresh meyer lemon juice, (from one ripe meyer lemon)
- ½ teaspoon meyer lemon rind, finely grated
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
In a heavy soup pot, add the olive oil, raise the heat to medium. Add the onions and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes until softened, but not colored.
Add the butternut squash, carrots and leeks, give a stir and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the Baharat Seasonings and stir for 1 minute to incorporate the flavors.
Add the lentils, broth and pear. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cover the soup.
Cook for 20 minutes, until the lentils have softened, and the vegetables are crisp-tender.
Add the meyer lemon juice, meyer lemon rind and salt (will depend on the saltiness of your broth), stir well.
Cool slightly, and whirl 1/3 of the soup in a blender until smooth. Add to the pot and stir well.
I like the soup with a creamy base, but with a lot of texture. Taste for salt.
I quickly make a Raw Gremolata.
In a small bowl mix together: 2 T. extra virgin olive oil, 1t. grated lemon rind, 1 T. lemon juice, 3 T. chopped parsley, a pinch hot pepper flakes, 1 t. minced onion and a pinch of sea salt.
Ladle the warm soup into individual bowls. Swirl a teaspoon of Gremolata on top of the soup, garnish with a parsley sprig.
*Baharat Seasoning- Middle Eastern Spice : A wonderful pungent blend of pepper, paprika, ground cloves, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, coriander and chiles.
Can find online, at gourmet markets or at good specialty spice shops (http://www.thespicehouse.com/spices/salt-free-baharat)
Alternately, (if you can not find the seasoning- use a handful of the spices on the list to create a great flavor.
This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer
Servings: 4 – 6