Red Lentil Soup with Cumin and Fried Onions 6 servings
2 cups red lentils (12 ounces), rinsed
1/4 cup short-grain rice, rinsed
3 medium onions—1 thinly sliced, 2 finely chopped
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
In a large saucepan, bring the red lentils, rice, sliced onion, chicken stock, water, cumin and allspice to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt, cover and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring, until the lentils and rice are tender, about 20 minutes.
In a blender, puree the soup in batches until very smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and season to taste.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil and saute the chopped onions, with another generous pinch of salt, until golden, about 15 minutes.
Ladle the soup into bowls, top with the onions and croutons and serve.
Lentil-Sausage Soup 6 servings
1-1/2 cups dried lentils, washed and drained
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1 small onion, peeled and halved
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 lb. very lean smoked sausage
1 medium carrot, chopped
4 cups beef broth
3 cups water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 small bay leaf
Salt to taste
In large, heavy soup pot or kettle, combine lentils, garlic, onion, celery, carrot and sausage. Stir in beef broth, water, tomato paste, vinegar, paprika, pepper, bay leaf and thyme.
Simmer, covered, about one hour, until lentils are soft. Remove sausage and set aside. Remove bay leaf. Puree soup in blender or food processor until smooth.
Return soup to pot. Slice the sausage in 1/4 inch diagonal slices and add to soup. Season to taste and serve.