Brunch-time Strata

You HAVE to try garam masala! It’s what gives this aromatic, Indian-inspired, kid-friendly, protein-packed soup its complex flavour! It’s a versatile spice blend that is delicious on roasted meats and veggies, too! 

Serves 4-6


Download the PDF Version of Spiced Lentil Soup

 
INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Tbsp olive/other vegetable oil OR butter/margarine

  • 1 medium onion, diced*

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced*

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced*

  • 1/2 tsp garam masala*

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 3 cups prepared vegetable/ chicken stock (liquid or prepared from bouillon)*

  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced ~3/4 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and drained OR 3/4 cup rinsed and drained canned lentils (any type, but grab the lightest ones you can find for best soup colour and texture)*

  • Juice from 1/2 lemon (about 1-2 Tbsp)*

  • Salt*

  • Pinches of cayenne or freshlyground black pepper/few drops hot sauce & toasted, buttered naan/pita, if desired* 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In medium sauce/soup pot, heat oil over medium-low heat.
  2. Add onion, carrot and garlic and sweat gently, stirring often, until veggies soften, but do not brown (about 10 minutes)
  3. Add chicken stock, potatoes, lentils, garam masala and pepper. Stir to combine and simmer gently, lightly covered with lid ajar for about 20-30 minutes/until flavours have melded and all veggies are very soft.
  4. Remove from heat and purée using an immersion blender or crush well with a potato masher.
  5. Add lemon juice and stir well. Add a little more stock or water to thin, if necessary (it will also thicken as it sits and cools). If a little more salt or pepper or is needed, feel free to add at the end/after reheating.
  6. Serve, accompanied by toasted, buttered naan/pita or garnished with cayenne pepper/drizzle of hot sauce.

*SWTICH-UPS & SUBSTITUTIONS

  • 1 Tbsp onion powder=1 medium onion (add during simmering stage)
  • 1/2 398 ml tin chopped/sliced carrots, drained= 1 medium carrot (add during simmering stage)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder=2 cloves (add during simmering stage)
  • Substitute 1/2 tsp chili powder for the garam masala to make this soup southwestern style, or, omit the spices altogether for a simpler soup
  • Keep this soup vegetarian by using vegetable stock/bouillon
  • Use 1-2 tsps bottled lemon juice or 1/2-1 tsp vinegar in place of the fresh lemon
  • You probably won’t need to add salt as bouillon/chicken stock can be quite salty. You may want to add extra salt if the stock you’re using is low or no sodium, but add a bit at a time and keep in mind - soups always get saltier as they sit!
  • Another great, non-spicy garnish is toasted, buttered naan/ pita points! Simply toast lightly in the toaster (or on a baking sheet in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 10 mins). Butter while warm (if desired), and slice into points. Serve alongside bowls of hot soup for dipping.
  • If you’re looking for a hands-off, super-simple method, simply put all ingredients (except lemon juice) into a slow-cooker and simmer on low for 3-4 hrs. Add lemon juice, purée or mash and serve

 

Add a bit of summer to your winter soups and stews with Gremolata!
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Garlic, lemon, parsley and olive oil are bright flavours that can do wonders as an addition to a simple soup, stew or grill as well as provide a much needed pick-me-up during the drab (and seemingly unending) winter months! This flavourful condiment is a made of only 4 simple ingredients (plus a little salt and pepper) but is so crisp and citrusy it will surely take your winter cooking on a delicious summer vacation!


Combine 1 cup packed, very finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, 2 cloves of very finely minced garlic, the zest of 1 lemon and 1 Tbsp of the juice*, 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Mix well and store tightly covered in the fridge for up to a week. Add a dollop as a garnish to soups and stews, or, serve as a condiment on sandwiches, burgers, salads or with grilled/roasted veggies, meat or fish.


*Zest yellow part of lemon only using a fine grater or by peeling strips with a vegetable peeler and then chopping finely. Be sure to zest or peel the lemon before juicing it... it’s almost impossible to zest one after it’s been cut! 
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