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!
- 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)*
- Pinches of cayenne or freshly ground black pepper/few drops hot sauce & toasted, buttered naan/pita, if desired*
- In medium sauce/soup pot, heat oil over medium-low heat.
- Add onion, carrot and garlic and sweat gently, stirring often, until veggies soften, but do not brown (about 10 minutes)
- 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.
- Remove from heat and purée using an immersion blender or crush well with a potato masher.
- 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.
- Serve, accompanied by toasted, buttered naan/pita or garnished with cayenne pepper/drizzle of hot sauce.
*Switch-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 tsp 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
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!