I was staring at a jar of green lentils in my cupboard for way too long and I have this thing where I love finishing jars of everything, and then starting all over from scratch. The lentils needed to be used. The challenge was, it was 8pm and I did not want to head out to the market to buy any ingredients. So instead of turning to Ina, or Julia, I turned to google. I searched a few green lentil recipes and they all had a long list of ingredients. Until I finally found this one. It looked easy and basic but I figured I could use this dish as a base with an accompaniment so I double the recipe and off I went. The problem? These dang lentils wouldn’t cook. Or at least the water wouldn’t absorb. So I did what the recipe told me not to do, and I let it cook until it solidified into a mush. My lentils turned into a soup. And low and behold this soup was delicious. I don’t know if it was the labour of love I poured into it or what but it goes to show that the easiest recipes can be so wonderful. I got very satisfied facial expression and verbal praise from my food critic partner. So here it is. The easiest Lentil Soup you could ask for. I was out of whole cumin seeds so I used cumin powder. It didn’t even matter.
- 4 tablespoons avocado oil.
- 1⁄2teaspoon whole cumin seed
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 cup whole green lentil, washed and drained
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4teaspoon cayenne
- Heat oil in a heavy pot over a medium flame. When hot, put in the cumin seeds. A few seconds later, put in the garlic. Stir and fry until the garlic pieces turn a medium brown colour. Now put in the onion. Stir and fry until the onion pieces begin to turn brown at the edges. Put in the lentils and the water. Bring to the boil. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for about an hour or until lentils are tender. (Nearly all of the liquid should have been absorbed, but watch that it doesn’t turn completely solid.)
- Add the salt and the cayenne. Stir to mix and simmer gently for another 5 minutes.
Special thanks to Madhur Jaffrey.