Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

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    • 3 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
    • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
    • Pinch of ground chile powder or cayenne, more to taste
    • 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 cup red lentils
    • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
    • Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
    • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat three tablespoons of olive oil on high heat and add onions and garlic. Cook for about four minutes, until translucent.
  2. Stir cumin, salt, black pepper, chili powder, and sauté for a couple minutes longer (about two minutes, depending on the stove). Add tomato paste.
  3. Add broth (I used vegetable Better Than Bouillon), water, lentils and roughly chopped carrot. Bring pot to a simmer, before partially covering to turn heat on medium-low. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are soft. Add salt to taste.
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree half of the soup. The soup should not be completely smooth. My preferred method is to still see most of the carrot slices.
  5. Stir in lemon juice and cilantro.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil.
  7. Serve with toasted bread.
Leah Beckett