It takes no more than a slight chill in the air to send us searching for a weeknight soup recipe. We’ve used red lentils here; use yellow lentils and you’ll serve what looks like a bowl of sunshine, made bright by the last-minute additions of lemon juice and preserved lemon. The latter is available at Middle Eastern stores.
If you have leftovers, you’re in luck: The soup tastes better the next day.
Serve with warm flatbread. Adapted from Little Flower: Recipes From the Cafe, by Christine Moore (Prospect Park Books, 2012).
Lemon Lentil Soup
1/2 medium onion
1 medium rib celery
1 medium carrot
1 or 2 cloves garlic
12 ounces red or yellow lentils (see headnote)
7 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 or 3 lemons
1/2 preserved lemon (see headnote)
Freshly ground black pepper
Cut the onion and celery into chunks and transfer to the food processor. Peel the carrot and cut it into chunks; add to the food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
Mince the garlic (to taste). Pick over the lentils to discard any stray bits, then rinse and drain them in a colander.
Combine the broth, lentils, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, curry powder, turmeric and ground ginger in a Dutch oven or a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook (uncovered) for 15 to 20 minutes; the lentils should be cooked through yet still hold their shape.
Meanwhile, juice the lemons to yield 1/2 cup of juice. Finely chop the preserved lemon half.
Stir in the lemon juice and preserved lemon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Divide among individual bowls; serve hot. Makes 8 cups (4 to 6 servings).
Nutrition per serving (based on 6): 250 calories, 16 grams protein, 44 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 500 milligrams sodium, 10 grams dietary fiber, 5 grams sugar.