Curried Lentil Soup

Topics: Recipes, Refuel

curried lentil soupA blockbuster for beta-carotene, this winner of a main dish makes your RealAge younger, with a RA effect of 4.6 days younger.
Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Cooking Time:  25 minutes
Servings  4
Serving Size:  about 6 cups total

Ingredients:

1 carton (8 ounces) plain fat free or low fat yogurt
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 large white onion, chopped
2 large carrots, thinly sliced
3/4 cup red lentils
2 teaspoons curry powder, preferably Madras curry powder*
41/4 cups low salt chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup fruity red wine such as merlot
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Directions:

Place a strainer over a bowl; line with a double thickness of paper towels. Place yogurt in strainer to drain and thicken while preparing the soup. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil then onion; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in carrots, lentils and curry powder; cook 1 minute. Stir in broth, wine and salt; cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 18 to 20 minutes or until lentils and vegetables are tender. Ladle into soup bowls; top with thickened yogurt and cilantro.

Tips:

*Madras curry powder, representative of curries from southern India, is highly seasoned, pungent, and hot. Strain the yogurt in the refrigerator the day before to make a tart “cream cheese” you can flavor with minced garlic and Tabasco for a beautiful, bright garnish.

Substitutions:

Garam masala may replace the curry powder for a richer, rounder flavor. Garam masala is an Indian blend of dry roasted and ground spices such as curry powder, cloves, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, fennel, mace, nutmeg, black pepper and dried chilies. Look for it in Middle Eastern or Indian markets and in the gourmet section of some supermarkets. Additional chicken or vegetable broth may replace the red wine for a cleaner, more beany-like taste to the lentils. For a spicier soup, add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper along with the salt.