East Indian lentil soup with red lentil sprouts
This hearty vegetarian soup is fragrant and colourful, and can also be served over basmati rice. Black mustard seeds are found at shops specializing in Indian or Asian food, but they may be omitted if desired.
- 2 tbsp. (30 mL) black mustard seeds
- 2 tsp. (10 mL) cumin seeds
- 2 tsp. (10 mL) fennel seeds
- 2 tbsp. (30 mL) canola oil
- 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp. (30 mL) grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp. (5 mL) red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 2 cups (500 mL) water
- 2 cups (500 mL) light coconut milk
- 2 cups (500 mL) canned, diced tomatoes, with juices
- 1¼ cups (300 mL) red lentils, rinsed
- 3 carrots, trimmed, peeled, sliced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 to 2 cups (250 to 500 mL) red lentil sprouts
In a small bowl, combine the first three ingredients.
Warm oil in a large, heavy soup pot over high heat. Before oil smokes, add seeds all at once; cover with a lid and let sizzle until they pop (about 15 to 25 seconds). Remove from heat and let pot sit, still covered, until popping stops (less than 1 minute).
Add onion, ginger and red pepper flakes; stir to combine. Over medium-high heat, cook gently until onion softens, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in water, coconut milk and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add lentils and carrots. Cover and cook at a gentle boil for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Season with salt and pepper; continue cooking gently until lentils have softened and mixture resembles a purée. (If soup is too thick, add a little more water or coconut milk.)
Top each serving with sprouts.
Makes 4 to 6 servings