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Red Lentil Soup

    1 large onion, chopped
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 bay leaf
    1 sprig fresh thyme
    1 cup red lentils (7 ounces), picked over and rinsed
    6 cups chicken broth
    2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
    lemon wedges

  Cook onion in oil with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium heavy
 saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened,
 about 8 minutes.

  Add garlic, cumin, bay leaf, and thyme and cook, stirring, 1 minute
 more. Add lentils, broth, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon
 pepper and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until
 lentils are very soft and falling apart, about 30 to 45 minutes.

  Discard bay leaf and thyme sprig, then puree 2 cups of mixture in
 blender (use caution when blending hot liquids) and return to pan.
 Stir in parsley and season with salt.