The weather has been kind of erratic lately. Three weeks ago I was wearing sandals. Then, we had a long week with rain storms and snow in the mountains. Last weekend, the thermometer hit 100°F (yes, in the middle of April) and today it is chilly and cloudy again.
So, I thought it was time to warm up with this “summer” lentil soup. I call it “summer” to distinguish it from my French winter lentil soup and also from my lentil soup with chorizo, both very caloric soups and for the same reason perfect for the cold winter.
Today’s recipe is definitely a lighter soup, yet flavorful and fulfilling. Flavor is given by a sofrito made of onion, garlic, celery and red bell pepper. At the end, a handful of fresh cilantro infuses this soup with its flavor and aroma.
I love to serve it with one or two spoons of cooked rice.
I hope you like it!
Lentil Soup with cilantro | Ingredients for 8 portions
1 pound of lentils
2 ½ quarts of water
2 Tbs. of olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
4 garlic cloves minced
1 celery stalk finely chopped
1 red bell pepper finely chopped
Coarse sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
In a stock pan over medium heat, add the water and the lentils and cook for 20 minutes. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and make a sofrito by sautéing the onions, garlic and celery until translucent, 5 minutes, then adding the pepper. Keep cooking for 10 more minutes. Add the sofrito to the lentils stock pan and cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the cilantro and cook, covered, for 5 more minutes. Discard the cilantro. Serve and garnish with some cilantro leaves.
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