Lentil Soup (Western Style)
Dal ka Soup
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This is an old tried and tested recipe and easy to make. You can make it in advance and reheat before serving. Serves 4
200 gm. lentils (red or yellow lentils)
1 small onion, peeled and sliced
500 ml. water or vegetable stock. 2 vegetable stock cubes can be used instead. If you are non-vegetarian, you can use chicken or meat stock.
2-3 tomatoes. You can add other vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, courgettes etc., but no more than a small cup and chop them small.
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste, freshly ground
1-2 bay leaves
A handful of green coriander leave or fresh herb of your choice
Optional: A little cream or creamy yoghurt or sour cream for garnish.
Wash and soak lentils for 10-20 minutes.
Boil lentils in water or stock, along with onions and other vegetables if used, bay leaves, salt.
Cook until lentlis and vegetables are very soft. You can cook these in a pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles/pressures/minutes.
Strain through a sieve by pressing most of the solids through. Discard the left over fibre/skins.
Return sieved lentil to pan. If using stock cubes, you can add them now, according to instructions on the packet (crumbled directly or dissolved in hot water).
Add more water if necessary, to get the correct consistency. If it is already too thin, make it thicker by adding 1 tsp. corn flour dissolved in cold water.
Adjust salt and add black pepper to taste.
Add half the coriander leaves and mix.
Garnish each bowl of soup with a few coriander leaves and serve hot.
Also see Soup Selection.
You can also add 1 tsp. cream or Greek style yoghurt or sour cream to each bowl just before serving.
If you like a spicy soup, add 2 tsp. curry powder during the boiling stage, at step 2.
You can give your soup a little 'tarka' or tempering; heat 2 tsp. oil in a tarka laddle, add 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds/mustard seeds, allow to splutter, add and quickly stir in 1/4 tsp. chilli powder, pour over the soup and cover the lid. This allows the flavours to infuse. Serve hot.