Monday and Tuesday are lentil soup days at the restaurant. I do make about 10 varieties of lentil soup but I am always on the look for a new way to cook my lentils.
On this Monday, I arrived early, chopped my vegetables and started to make one of my Tuscan lentil soup. I seared the vegetables and when I reached to get my lentil I found out that I only have 2 cups of green lentil. Two cups of lentils will be ok if I am cooking at home but this amount will be just enough to get me through the first 10 minutes of our lunch rush. Ok, I thought, why not make the orange lentil soup. Alas! I have only 2 cups of orange lentil too. Making another kind of soup is not an option; I have people who come on Monday and Tuesday just to buy the lentil soup. What a girl get to do??? So I thought why not combine both lentils and make new soup. New recipe is born:)
I julienned an onion and cooked in olive oil them until golden. I removed the caramelized onion and set the pan with the olive oil aside.
I placed the orange lentil in deep soup pan and then, added the caramelized onion, some water, little cumin and salt. I cooked the lentils over medium heat until they are done and mushy, about 20 minutes. At this point, I added the green lentil and a whole lemon that I pierced it in few spots. I cooked the mixture on medium heat until the green lentils are cooked but not mushy, about 10 minutes.
I heated the olive oil in the pan and seared cumin, coriander, garlic, tarragon and Harissa.
I added chopped celery, julienned carrots and baby spinach to the Harissa mixture. The vegetables are cooked for only couple minutes. I love crunch and texture in my soups. I believe our teeth are here for reason.
At last, I spooned the vegetables herbs mixture into the soup and cook for 5 minutes.
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 . medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup orange lentil
- 2 . cups green lentils
- 20 cups water
- 1 lemon, pierce the lemon with a fork in several places
- 3 stalk celery, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons Harissa or any chili paste
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 6 cloves of garlic, mashed
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
- salt to taste
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 4 scallions, chopped
- Heat the olive oil and cook the onion until caramelized. Remove the onion and set the pan aside.
- Place the orange lentils in deep soup pan, add the water, salt, the caramelized onion and half the ground cumin. Cook on high heat until boiling and then simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the green lentils and the whole lemon. Continue cooking on medium heat for another 10 minutes. The green lentils should be cooked but not mushy.
- Heat back the olive oil, add the mashed garlic, the coriander. Cook for a minute. Add the vegetables and the harissa. Stir and cook for few minutes.
- Spoon the vegetables into the lentils. De-glaze the pan with the lemon juice and set aside.
- Bring the soup back to a boil. Add the lemon juice, taste and adjust the seasoning. Turn off the heat and allow the soup to rest for 5 minutes.
- Spoon into bowl, sprinkle with the scallion and enjoy.