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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

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

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  • 2 cups red lentils (12 ounces), rinsed

  • 1/4 cup short-grain rice, rinsed

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

  • 6 cups chicken stock

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

  • Kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 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.
Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published March 2014

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