There are a couple of things you get used to eating all the time if you grew up in an Indian household, one of them being lentils. We eat a lot of lentils, black, green, yellow, orange, red etc. And though the names might not really match the color, for example the red lentils look orange to me, they are still one of the most popular and affordable source of protein in India. They're also pretty easy and fast to cook which adds to their attractiveness.
This lentil soup is one of the easiest to make and it's also one of the creamiest versions you'll try! It's got the texture of silky bisque and I've used Califia's unsweetened almond milk creamer to give the soup its characteristic body and "richness". The base of the soup is seasoned with aromatics and flavored with cloves and bay leaves. And though this isn't a "hot" soup you can easily bump up the heat levels by adding your favorite hot sauce in the desired amount. To give this lentil soup a little freshness, I've garnished it with fresh cilantro and lemon zest and a generous drizzle of a fruity extra virgin olive oil.
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this soup;
- I use black and red lentils for this soup but you could also substitute green/beluga lentils.
- You can make this soup a little hot by adding a little hot sauce if desired.
- Adjust the consistency of the soup as needed using water after blending.
- Califia's new line of creamers have made it possible to create that silky smooth and creamy bisque like texture in this soup. If you want the soup a little creamier, then I recommend playing around with the ratios of the lentil soup base, the water and the creamer. Don't forget to taste and season as you proceed.
creamy mixed lentil soup
yields: 4 servings
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup black lentils
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced red onion
5 whole cloves
2 large bay leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic clove
1 teaspoon ginger root cut into 1 inch strips
1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup Califia almond milk creamer (unsweetened)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves chopped
1 tablespoon lemon zest
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil for garnish
1. Clean and rinse the lentils. Keep aside until ready to use.
2. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized thick bottomed saucepan on medium-high heat. Sauté the onions for about 2 to 3 minutes until light pink. Add the cloves, bay leaves, garlic cloves and ginger and cook for 1 additional minute with occasional stirring. Then add the salt, black pepper and turmeric and cook for 30 seconds. Add the lentils and water and increase the heat to high, bring the contents of the saucepan to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 30 minutes until the lentils are soft and tender. Once the lentils are cooked, remove and discard the bay leaves.
3. Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender. Add the Califia creamer to the blender and blend until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is too thick add a little more water and blend until you get the desired consistency.
4. Transfer the soup from the blender to the saucepan and keep warm. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. To serve, garnish each serving of the soup with the lemon zest and cilantro leaves and a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Califia Farms. All opinions expressed are purely my own.