Red Lentil, Chickpea, & Tomato Soup

I absolutely love cooking with red lentils not only are they beautiful vibrant orange but they are amazingly filling and delicious. You can do so many creations in your kitchen with lentils and that is one thing any cook can appreciate. I have found that a few spoons of butter is a must when make any lentil dish as it gives them a distinct flavor and do not forget about the yogurt which just mixes with the dish perfectly.

1 onion, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 chicken bullion cube
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 cup red lentils, picked over for stones
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tomatoes, diced
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons butter
yogurt, for serving

1. In a 4-quart saucepan on medium-high heat add olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook until tender. Add paprika, thyme, bullion, salt and pepper, cook for 1 minute. Meanwhile, clean lentils with water under not cloudy.

2. Add chicken broth, chickpeas, tomato paste and tomatoes. Bring to a full boil then reduce heat to low and cover. Allow to simmer for 30-45 minutes. Add butter and allow to melt, mix well. Add a dollop of yogurt on top of soup per serving.

Yields: 12 servings

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