I hear we are in for one last snow on Friday, the first day of spring. Well, I sure hope it is the last storm! That’s my excuse for why I can’t resist posting another soup. I made this batch last week; I’ve wanted to try it for a few weeks. It did not disappoint me with its unusual flavors and I enjoyed every naturally gluten free spoonful.
I did modify it somewhat, of course! I changed the cilantro for parsley as I am not fond of cilantro and there is a reduced amount of garlic and of orange juice. I love the bright flavors in this potage and as a bonus it is very healthy with the fresh orange juice, lentil beans, garlic and onions. If you love cilantro, sub it in for the parsley by all means.
Note, the red lentils, which you can get at the health food store, turn a soft maize color when cooked. I think some brands are more orange in color but mine usually turns that soft yellow.
This recipe is a bit spicy but light as there isn’t any dairy or meat in this soup. You will find this a great spring soup for this chilly spring week.
Red Lentil and Orange Soup
- ½ a bunch (1-inch-diameter bouquet at stems) fresh parsley
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 3medium onions, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
- Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
- 2large garlic cloves, fine chopped
- One1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and fine chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
- Zest and juice of 1 medium orange
- One 14-ounce can chicken broth
- 2-1/2 cups water
- 3/4 cup red lentils, rinsed and sorted
- Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon
Wash and dry the bunch of parsley. Cut off the bottom 2 to 3 inches of the stems and chop them fine. Set them aside. Coarse-chop half of the remaining parsley leaves, refrigerating the rest for another dish.
Generously film the bottom of a 3 quart saucepan with olive oil – like two or three tablespoons and heat it over high heat. Stir in two-thirds of the onions, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the onions just begin to brown. Blend in the parsley stems, half the parsley leaves which you chopped, garlic, ginger, ground coriander seed, and the orange zest. Sauté all of that for about 20 seconds over high heat, until the pan smells fragrant. Scrape out into a bowl and set aside.
Pour the broth, water, lentils, and remaining onions into the same saucepan. Bring to a gentle bubble, partially cover, and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the lentils are nearly tender. Add the sautéed onions and seasonings and additional salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pot tightly and simmer for another 15 minutes to blend the flavors.
Stir in the juice from half a lemon, the juice of the zested orange, and additional water, broth or orange juice to taste, starting with 2/3 cup. Then warm and sample the soup for salt, pepper, and lemon juice, adjust them as needed.
Scatter the remaining parsley tops over the soup, and ladle it into deep bowls.
The original recipe before modifications came from The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift, Clarkson Potter, 2008.