15 favorite comfort food recipes

Whether it's a big serving of homemade macaroni and cheese, chocolate cake, or a soothing bowl of soup these simple comfort food recipes will hit the spot.

10. Red lentil soup with a hint of heat

The Garden of Eating
Dried red lentils are an excellent pantry stable to keep on hand. The lentils cook up fast for this delicious and spicy soup.

By Eve FoxThe Garden of Eating

Serves 4 to 6

3 tablespoons organic olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek chili paste or 1/4 teaspoon ground chili powder (if you like things hot, use more!)
1-1/2 quarts stock (vegetable or chicken – it's good both ways)
1 cup red lentils
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon (Meyer or regular)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and then add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring often for about 4 minutes. Then stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili paste or powder and sauté for another few minutes, stirring once or twice.

2. Add the broth, lentils and carrots and bring to a simmer, then cover and turn the heat down to low and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.

3. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender of food processor if you don’t have an immersion blender), purée half the soup and return to the pot.

4. Stir in the lemon juice and the fresh herbs and serve with a drizzle of olive oil or a dollop of yogurt or sour cream on top.

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