Black Lentil Soup

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This earthy lentil soup is Rajat Parr's take on dal, the Indian side dish. He gives it unexpected richness by whisking in butter just before serving. More Fantastic Soups

Black Lentil Soup
Photo: © Anna Williams
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Yield:
4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black lentils (6 ounces)

  • 2 cardamom pods

  • One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced, plus 2 tablespoons minced ginger

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 onion cut into 1/2-inch dice

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala

  • 2 quarts vegetable stock or low-sodium broth

  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes

  • Salt

Directions

  1. In a pot, cover the lentils, cardamom and sliced ginger with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the lentils start to soften, about 10 minutes. Drain the lentils and transfer to a bowl; discard the cardamom and ginger.

  2. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in the pot. Add the onion, garlic and minced ginger and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Add the coriander, cumin, cayenne and garam masala and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 4 minutes.

  3. Add the stock, tomatoes and lentils to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer over moderate heat until the lentils are softened and the soup has thickened, about 1 hour. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and season with salt. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Parr looks to Beaujolais for an excellent partner to this soup; given the right producer and vineyard, he says, the wine can transcend its ho-hum reputation and be truly great.

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