Time for a pantry raid, my peeps – that’s how this soup came to be! You may have seen the news coverage of devastating floods in Southern Alberta and that of Calgary turned into a lake. How odd to wake up and see my own city on the front page of BBC news.
Many areas here got decimated by flood water, and there is a lot of effort going on right now to get people back in their homes and start the cleanup. On a less serious note, one of my friends was evacuated, power shut off, and has a freezer full of lobsters going bad as we speak 🙁 Talk about first-world problems. We fared well in our neighborhood thanks to high ground, but the scene at the local grocery store was still like something out of Outbreak. People hoarded whatever they could get their hands on, why, I have NO IDEA. We were not flooded! I hopped into my car to get eggs and faced a 2 hour wait for checkout. I didn’t bother. I came back for the a few hours later and the store was cleared out of basic necessities (and cookies).
So here’s a pantry raid Spiced Tomato and Lentil Soup from scratch – filling and deeelicious. It’s based on onions and strained tomatoes, the lentils add earthiness and thickness. I added a few Indian spices for warmth and sprinkled caramelized sweet onions on top. I like that the soup doesn’t call for stock – it’s one of those things that you may not always have on hand (bouillon cubes are not stock). I would add a dollop of Greek yogurt on top next time though. I hope you give this one a try.
- olive oil
- 1 tbs cumin (whole)
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 1 onion, chopped (sweet Vidalia onions used here)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup yellow split peas
- ½ cup red lentils
- 3 cups strained tomatoes
- 5 cups of water (or stock, if available)
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 2 tbs curry powder
- salt and pepper
- optional - 1 tsp brown sugar
- In a medium skillet, dry-roast the cumin and mustard seeds until they start to pop. Turn frequently to avoid burning. Pour off into a small bowl and set aside.
- In the same skillet, heat a bit of olive oil and fry the onions until very lightly browned. Set some onions aside for the garnish. Add the garlic to the remaining onions and cook, turning frequently, one minute more. Transfer the onions and garlic into a cooking pot and add the split peas and lentils. Pour in the strained tomatoes and water, add the roasted cumin and mustard seeds then season with the remaining spices.
- Bring to a brief boil, then simmer, covered for 30 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Check seasonings. Add the sugar if you'd like.
- Serve garnished with caramelized onions and a dollop of Greek yogurt (not pictured).