Monday, November 2, 2009

Red Lentil Soup with Cilantro-Almond Pesto Drizzle

Happy, healthy, and hearty in half an hour. Try it paired with chickpea-flax skillet flatbread. Quantities are flexible. I used 3 T cilantro because that's what I had leftover from last night's dinner. With this recipe it's hard to go wrong.

Serves: 4
Time: 30 minutes (10 active)


For the soup:
1 small onion, diced
2 c red lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 bay leaf
1/2 t fennel seeds
1/2 t cumin seeds
pinch of salt
cayenne to taste
water or stock

For the drizzle:
3 T cilantro
1 handful almonds
1 clove garlic
big pinch of salt

1. Heat EVOO, onion, lentils, bay leaf, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, and cayenne over medium-high heat, stirring regularly, for ~5 minutes, until onions are translucent and mixture is fragrant.
2. Cover with water or stock to 1" above lentil mixture. Bring to a boil, then simmer 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make the drizzle. Whir all drizzle ingredients except EVOO in a blender. Slowly drizzle in EVOO until mixture is desired consistency (from a thick pesto to a runny-er sauce, as you prefer).
4. Puree soup with an immersion blender. Taste and correct seasonings.
5. To serve, ladle into bowls, and add a dollop of the drizzle on top.


  1. This looks great. As does the flatbread. I may serve this as part of a Shabbat meal sometime soon...Btw, I presume it would work to make the drizzle with a mortar and pestle, right? (My blender is dairy, my immersion blender is meat, so I'd use one or the other for the soup...)

  2. Yes, it would work with a mortar and pestle, or a mini-food processor. I'd recommend toasting the almonds which will make them easier to crush. Let me know how it turns out!

  3. I made this tonight, and it was delicious and so easy! The cilantro pesto was really good match for the lentil soup. Thanks, SGG!