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Where EAST meets the Northwest

WINTER WARMTH. Pictured is a bowl of Curried Red Lentil Soup. The recipe for this hearty soup appears in the cookbook All-Time Best Soups. (Daniel J. van Ackere/America’s Test Kitchen via AP)

From The Asian Reporter, V28, #20 (October 15, 2018), page 13.

Red lentils shine when you add garlic, ginger, and curry

By America’s Test Kitchen

Small red lentils are one of our favorite legumes; they do not hold their shape when cooked but break down into a creamy, thick purée — perfect for a hearty, satisfying soup.

Lentils are popular in quick-cooking soups because of their short cooking time and the fact that they don’t require soaking before cooking. To speed things up even further, we precooked the lentils in the microwave while we assembled the soup base.

The mild flavor of the lentils did require some embellishment, which we achieved thanks to curry powder and fresh ginger. Sautéing the curry powder with garlic and the ginger before adding the lentils and the broth was key, as it intensified and deepened their flavors.

Chopped fresh tomato enlivened the soup and added some complexity. Do not substitute brown lentils for the red lentils here; brown lentils have a very different texture.

America’s Test Kitchen provided this article to The Associated Press. More recipes, cooking tips, and ingredient and product reviews are available at <www.americastestkitchen.com>.

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Curried Red Lentil Soup

Servings: 4

Start to finish: 45 minutes

1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed

4 cups vegetable broth

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 onion, chopped fine

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1/2 cup plain yogurt

Microwave lentils and two cups broth in a bowl until lentils are nearly tender and most liquid is absorbed, about eight minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about five minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger, and curry powder. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in microwaved lentil mixture, tomato, and remaining two cups of broth and simmer until lentils are very tender and flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle individual portions with cilantro and dollop with yogurt before serving.

Nutrition information per serving: 289 calories (68 calories from fat); 8 g fat (4 g saturated, 0 g trans fats); 17 mg cholesterol; 305 mg sodium; 39 g carbohydrate; 10 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 18 g protein.

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