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Spiced Tomato and Red Lentil Soup

June 7, 2009

Spiced Tomato and Red Lentil Soup

3 T vegetable oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
Kosher salt
2 tsp. Madras curry powder or garam masala
2 quarts lower-salt vegetable broth
Two 14.5-oz. cans petite-diced tomatoes
1 lb. (2-1/3 cups) dried red lentils, picked over, rinsed, and drained
2 medium celery ribs, cut into small dice
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. cayenne

Heat the oil in a 6-quart (or larger) Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and just starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the curry powder or garam masala and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Add the broth, tomatoes and their juices, lentils, celery, carrot, garlic, cayenne, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently to keep the lentils from sticking; skim any foam as necessary. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils, carrots, and celery are tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Serves eight. Yields about 14 cups.

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