Red Lentil Vegetable Soup with Lemon

  • 2 cups split red lentils, rinsed well
  • 1 medium-large carrot, diced small
  • 1 TB turmeric
  • 4 TB unsalted butter
  • Fine grain sea salt
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1 large lemon, to taste
  • 1 large bunch spinach leaves, chopped

Using red lentils, carrot, and turmeric in this smooth soup gives it a beautiful warm hue to match its warming flavors, and lemon juice elevates it to whole new level!  Serve it with a scoop of warm brown rice and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.

Combine lentils, 6 cups water, carrot, turmeric, 1 TB of butter, and 2 tsp salt in a large pot.  Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils and carrots are soft, about 20 minutes.  Puree with a hand held or table top blender (and return to pot).  Add water if too thick.  Keep soup warm/hot.  While the lentils are cooking, heat a skillet over low heat and cook onion in 2 TB butter with cumin and mustard seeds.  Stir occasionally.  When onions are soft , about 10-15 minutes, add cilantro and cook for a few seconds to wilt.  Remove skillet from heat then add the onion mixture to the soup.  Add lemon juice, 1 TB at a time, until nice and tangy.  Adjust salt to taste. Right before serving, heat the remaining TB of butter in the skillet.  When hot, add spinach with a pinch of salt.  Cook just long enough to wilt.