- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large celery rib, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 large carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 baking potato (6 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 rounded cup red lentils (8 ounces)
- 1 1/2 quarts vegetable stock or broth
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the celery and carrot and cook over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Add the potato, lentils and stock; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, 40 minutes.
- Puree the soup in batches and return it to the saucepan. Add the cumin, cayenne and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.
Earthy lentils call for a similarly earthy white that also has some acidity. Chenin Blancs from the Loire Valley, such as those from the Savennières and Saumur regions, are ideal.