Since split red lentils fall apart and become solft as they cook, they are lovely for creating a soup that has a creamy texture. This one has a deep exotic flavour thanks to the cumin. Leave it chunky or purée it for a silky texture.
2 tbsp (30 (mL) olive oil or canola oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric powder
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (250 mL) rinsed split red lentils
1 cup (250 mL) canned diced tomatoes
4 cups (1 L) chicken or vegetable broth
salt, to taste
2 small sprigs of cilantro, for garnish
1/3 cup (80 mL) plain yogurt, for garnish
In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for several minutes. Add the celery, season the mixture with salt, and sauté another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the turmeric, cumin, cinnamon stick and black pepper and stir constantly for one minute to toast the spices.
Add the lentils, tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil and simmer, partially covered, for 50 minutes to 60 minutes. Serve as is, or purée. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with a dollop of yogurt and a sprig of cilantro.