Black lentil soup

This recipe is actually from Food and Wine (November 2009) magazine. My friend gave me a subscription about six months ago and this is the first recipe I’ve tried. It was a little more labor intensive than I usually go for, particularly for a soup, which in my mind should be the least laborious type of cooking (chopping of vegetables, aside). Next time, I’ll probably try to reduce some of the steps a little. We served this with saffron rice.

dal

1 cup black lentils, picked over and rinsed (seriously, this is a worth while step. those stones are horrible!)

2 cardamom pods (we used black, but i think the green would work well too)

1-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced thinly

2 TBL minced ginger

2 TBL Earth Balance (original called for 5 TBL butter)

1 onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced (original recipe 2)

1 TBL fresh cilantro (original recipe 1/2 tsp coriander)

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne (1/4 tsp)

I TBL garam masala (1/4 tsp)

2 quarts vegetable stock

1 cup diced tomatoes (I used fresh grape tomatoes, but the recipe called for canned)

salt to taste

In a large pot, boil lentils, sliced ginger, and cardamom in water covering 1 inch. Cook about 10 minutes, or until lentils begin to soften. Drain lentils, discard cardamom and ginger, set aside in a bowl. Saute onions, grated ginger, and garlic in 2 TBL margarine, about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add spices and fresh cilantro. Add a little water if needed. Cook another 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, lentils, and stock. Bring to a boil, then cook uncovered on medium heat for an hour or longer.

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