Red Lentil Soup with Cumin and Fried Onions

© John Kernick

Red Lentil Soup with Cumin and Fried Onions


This velvety soup gets intense flavor from cumin and sweetness from caramelized onions. Toasted bread torn into pieces adds great crunch.

Slideshow: Healthy Soups


  1. 2 cups red lentils (12 ounces), rinsed

  2. 1/4 cup short-grain rice, rinsed

  3. 3 medium onions—1 thinly sliced, 2 finely chopped

  4. 6 cups chicken stock

  5. 2 cups water

  6. 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

  8. Kosher salt

  9. 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  10. 4 ounces rustic bread, torn into bite-size pieces

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large saucepan, bring the red lentils, rice, sliced onion, chicken stock, water, cumin and allspice to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt, cover and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring, until the lentils and rice are tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. In a blender, puree the soup in batches until very smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and season with salt. Add more water for a thinner consistency, if desired.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the chopped onions and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Spread the bread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, until nearly crisp; let cool slightly. Reheat the soup, if necessary. Ladle the soup into shallow bowls, top with the fried onions and croutons and serve.