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I’m BACK…sorry about the small hiatus. March seemed to be a popular month for houseguests.  I have spent the past two weeks playing tour guide for some of my most favorite people from the West Coast.  It has been great, because not only was I able to show them some places that I love, I was able to discover a ton of new places. I am constantly amazed by how many things New York City has to offer.  You could probably eat at a different place every day for a whole year and still not experience every single restaurant!  Which pretty much blows my mind.

All of our houseguests had to deal with a long flight, and a time change coming from the west coast. I figured that it would be great to have a few snacks in order for them when they arrived.  This usually consisted of some wine, cheese, hummus, chips and salsa, and a kale salad or some homemade soup.

cheese plate

The main goal was to throw together something light that they could pick at while they unwound from their long day of traveling. For one of my guests I whipped up this super simple crushed red lentil soup. I love this soup, because I can make it days in advance. Like most soups it actually tastes better the next day.  This soup also freezes like a dream.  I started making this soup years ago when I first moved to Seattle in 2006.  I grew up in Michigan, where there is a huge Middle Eastern population. There are some Middle Eastern restaurants in the city that whips up some of the best crushed red lentil soup that I have ever had.  I had a hard time finding a replacement in Seattle, so I just started making my own.  The Middle Eastern places in Michigan still have me beat, but I think that this soup comes pretty darn close.

Ingredients

  • 1 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 3/4 Cups Split Red Lentils
  • 7 Cups Veggie Broth
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tsp. Ground Cumin
  • Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Place your lentils in a strainer, rinse and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan heat the olive oil and add the onions.  Sauté the onions for 5 mins, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  4. Add the veggie broth, the rinsed lentils, a little salt and pepper and simmer for 1/2 hour, or until the lentils have disintegrated.  Add water if soup needs thinning.
  5. Stir in the cumin, lemon juice and adjust salt and pepper as needed. *Note – This soup really needs salt and lemon in generous quantities.  
  6. Use a hand mixer or run it though your blender to eliminate any of the onion and garlic chunks.

Serve and enjoy!

This soup is also great over a bowl of fresh chopped kale with a small trickle of olive oil…Awesome, now I am craving the heck out of some middle eastern food 🙂

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