Smokey Tomato & Red Lentil Soup

I am always scanning the web for recipes especially those that are down right healthy and delicious.  This dish has the best of both worlds in that it is healthy and tastes scrumptious!  I have to admit that before I went to Asia, I wasn’t a big fan of lentils and it was Indian food that got me hooked!  Dhal has to be one of my favorite Indian dishes and love how versatile lentils can be.  They’re easy to cook and absorbs the flavors from other foods (similar to tofu).  Part of legume family, lentils are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. They also provide slow-burning complex carbohydrates and can increase your energy by replenishing your iron.  Click here for more nutritional information. A super easy meal to prepare that will satisfy and warm your tummy!

Serves 6
adapted from In Good Taste

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon chipotle pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon sun dried tomato paste
4 cups vegetable broth
1 14oz. can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups red lentils
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup honey
fresh herbs, chopped (use your favorite, or a variety)

Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium high. Add onions, garlic, carrots, celery and chipotle powder; cook, stirring occasionally for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Add smoked paprika, cumin and tomato paste; cook, stirring for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add broth, tomatoes and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in herbs and season. Serve soup with a dollop of Greek yogurt and drizzle with honey, if desired. Top with fresh herbs.

The Culinary Chase: An interesting spin with the addition of honey. It actually balanced the heat of the chili and smokey flavor throughout.  And, the yogurt acts as a calming agent for those who aren’t so tolerant of spicy foods.  This will be made again, that’s for sure!  Enjoy!