Monday, April 5, 2010

Red Lentil and Spinach Soup with Lemon Coriander Yogurt

 

I was in the mood for lentils the other day, but not anything very heavy or too strongly curry flavored. On top of that, I was craving more “spring” flavors, especially because it’s finally starting to warm up here in Orlando. Scratch that, it went from winter to summer over the course of a week! We have such odd weather in Florida during the spring – but then I’d rather have that than shovel snow.

I decided to go for a light curry flavor here and pair it with lemon and spinach. The lemon keeps it fresh-tasting, while the yogurt cools down the slight heat from the curry powder – I use Penzey’s Hot Curry Powder. The red bell pepper garnish gave it a nice crunch with a little sweetness. Cilantro would also be great as a garnish, as coriander is the seed of cilantro. I love using frozen spinach in a soup like this; it defrosted nicely after I pureed the lentils and onion, with no extra work cleaning and chopping.

The result is a fresh tasting, light soup with bright flavors. This also reheats well and can be served the next day if you have leftovers.

 

red lentil spinach lemon soup

 

Red Lentil and Spinach Soup with Lemon Coriander Yogurt

Serves 4

 

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp good quality curry powder

1 Tbsp garam masala

1 1/2 cups red lentils

6 cups vegetable broth

10 ounces frozen spinach

Zest from one lemon, with 1 tsp set aside

Salt and pepper to taste

1 large red pepper, chopped, for garnish

 

Yogurt:

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 cup Greek yogurt

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp lemon zest

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large stock or soup pot. Add onion and cook until translucent, about five minutes. Add garlic, curry powder, and garam masala and cook for one minute. Add lentils and vegetable broth and cook until lentils are soft, about 25-30 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree the soup (you can also transfer the soup to a regular blender if you don’t have a stick blender; return the soup to the pot afterward). Add spinach and heat through until fully defrosted. Stir in lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste.

While the lentils are cooking, combine yogurt ingredients and set aside.

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a spoonful of the yogurt and chopped red bell pepper.

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