Red lentils are unique in that they cook a bit faster than regular brown or green lentils and offer up a creamier texture. Lentils are one of my favorite legumes as they are low in calories, rich in iron and folate and an excellent source of protein. They pack health-promoting polyphenols and may reduce several heart disease risk factors.
This tasty red lentil soup recipe can be ready in about 30 minutes and makes a wonderful dinner. My version has bright flavors with lemon juice and garlic which pairs wonderfully with the creamy tangy Laroun Labne that is stirred in with fresh greens upon serving. Karoun Mediterranean Style Labne is a centuries old Mediterranean style spreadable kefir cheese that is smoother and thicker than yogurt.
Spiced lentil soup with Labne
Makes 6 servings | Prep time 35 minutes
You Will Need:
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp cumin seeds (use powder if you don’t have seeds)
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups red lentils
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 6 cups vegetable broth or water
- 4-5 medium tomatoes, quartered or 10-12 chopped cherry tomatoes
- 1 container of Laroun Labne (2 tablespoons of labne per serving of soup)
- chopped greens (chard or spinach)
- Za’atar to sprinkle on top of the Labne and soup
How to Prepare:
In a large soup stock pot, add vegetable oil and saute cumin seeds with onion. Brown both and add in other spices, salt, and garlic.
Wash lentils and add to soup pot with broth or water. Simmer on medium occasionally stirring. Add in tomatoes and set the temperature to low and simmer another 20 minutes on low heat.
Continue to add water to keep soup loose if needed.
Before serving, ladle hot soup into a wide soup bowl. Add in 1/4 cup fresh greens and 2 large dollops of Laroun Labne on top of the soup. Stir ingredients around and enjoy!