2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup red lentils
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
Salt and pepper
Crumbled feta cheese or hard-boiled egg for garnish (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot, add the onion, celery, and garlic, and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add the cumin and cook, stirring, for one minute longer.
- Add the tomato paste, stir until smooth, and add the stock and lentils. Bring just to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are very soft. Add 1 cup of water if the soup seems too thick.
- Puree in batches in a food processor or blender, return to the pot, and stir in the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve garnished with feta cheese or diced hard-boiled egg.
Variations: You can make this soup with green or brown lentils, but they will require longer cooking to soften.
An Oldways recipe, photo courtesy of Sarahdoow-Fotolia.com