By Jonny and Amy Seponara-Sills, We Are Never Full
Serves 4 to 6
2 onions, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped finely
2 carrots, chopped finely
1 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1-1/2 cups of red lentils
2 to 3 tablespoon of spice mix (see below – you’ll have extra)
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander seed
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground black peppercorns
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped into a few chunks
4 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped into a few chunks
6 to 8 cups of chicken stock (for veggie version use, ahem, vegetable stock)
1 tablespoon tumeric
3 tablespoons curry
1 cinnamon stick
Juice of 1 lemon or lime
2 chicken breasts, boiled (optional if you are keeping this veggie)
Toppings: dollop of drained plain yogurt, some almond slices, chopped cilantro and sliced green onion)
1. Make a garlic/ginger paste by crushing the chunks in a mortar and pestle. Use some kosher salt to help it grind better. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, chop the ginger and garlic finely with a knife then, using the side of the knife, crush repeatedly to try and squash it all together.
2. In a big pot, fry your onion, carrot and celery in a bit of oil. When it gets some color, add your ginger/garlic paste and fry for 30 seconds or so.
3. Add all your spices (spice blend, tumeric, curry) including the cinnamon stick. Allow to cook for a few moments, constantly stirring.
4. Add the tomatoes and stir.
5. Add lentils and six cups of stock. Stir and lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 40 to 50 minutes, checking to make sure the liquid level isn’t too low.
6. While the lentils are cooking, boil some water and add your chicken. Boil the chicken pieces for about 25 to 35 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces. Smaller, less time to be cooked. Bigger, more time needed. When they are done, remove from water and allow to cool. After it cools, remove chicken from bone and either chop up or shred with fingers.
7. Taste the lentils – when they are not too hard to the tooth, the soup is ready to be blended. FIRST REMOVE THE CINNAMON STICK!! Using a stick blender (or, if you prefer, a regular blender), puree the soup until completely smooth. You may want to add more warm chicken stock or water to thin it out. Sometimes the consistency is too thick so make it to your liking by adding a bit of liquid.
8. Stir in the lemon or lime juice and some chopped cilantro if you choose. Add the chicken and stir.
9. Pour into bowls and top with some chopped almonds, green onion and a dollop of yogurt. Enjoy with some naan bread warmed in the oven.