This vegetarian-friendly soup (just sub veggie stock) is hearty, healthy and satisfying. Red lentils are simmered with red bell peppers, onions, potato, garlic, and spices and then garnished with cilantro, lemon and a dollop of yogurt for a fresh and creamy finish.
Begin by adding the olive oil to a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and carrots and sauté until onions become just translucent (about 5 minutes).
Next, add the red lentils, potato, stock, garlic, paprika, cumin, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stir and reduce to a simmer.
Cover the pot loosely and cook for 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender and falling apart.
For a smooth soup: use an immersion blender, food processor or regular blender and process the soup to a silky smooth consistency.
For a chunkier soup: Blend half the soup while reserving the other half in the pot. Stir the creamy blended portion fin with the reserved unblended soup. Stir together,
Once you have the soup blended to your liking add a dash of cayenne. Stir and taste. If you want more heat, add another pinch of cayenne. Careful not to overdo it. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust.
Serve the soup hot and garnished with a dollop of Greek yogurt, freshly chopped cilantro and a lemon wedge for squeezing on the side. Bon Appetit!
♥ To make this soup vegan-friendly, use vegetable stock and substitute the Greek yogurt with a vegan friendly option if you like.
♥ If processing this soup in a blender, be sure the steam has somewhere to vent or you may have a soup explosion on your hands. It's best to let the portion you want to blend cool off so you can safely get the texture you want without the mess. Also, don't overfill the blender. Blend in small batches to avoid any issues.