Monday, November 22, 2010

Red Lentil Soup and Homemade Garlic Parmesan Croutons

There are several ways to make lentil soup. Some make it vegetarian and some make it with meat pieces. Some use orange and some use green. Some puree and some do not.

Today I made orange lentil soup the way my mom makes it (vegetarian and pureed) with the addition of a few Indian spices. I also made homemade garlic parmesan croutons for the topping.

1 cup orange lentils
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ginger paste
12 baby carrots, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tomato, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup vermicelli, broken into tiny pieces
1/2 tbsp butter

Add all the ingredients starting from the orange lentils through the garlic into a pressure cooker. Cover and secure the lid and turn the heat on med-high. Once the pressure builds, let cook on high for 8 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes before uncovering.

Using a hand blender, puree until smooth. Or you can use a regular blender but make sure the soup has cooled off before pureeing otherwise the top will explode and all the contents will be all over you, the counter, and the floors and when that hot, you could get burned pretty bad (personal experience.)

Next, melt the butter in a small saucepan and brown the vermicelli.

If you used a regular blender, return the soup to the pot and add the vermicelli. Cook for 10 minutes on medium low or just until the pasta is done.

 Homemade Croutons

2 cloves garlic, minced very fine
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2-1 loaf French baguette, cut into cubes
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne
Coat the bread with the garlic and olive oil. Add the Italian herbs, paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Mix in only 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Spread in a single layer on an baking sheet. Bake on 300 degrees for 15  minutes. Toss and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake for another 10 minutes or until crispy. Serve the soup hot topped with the croutons. Enjoy!

Soup Source: daliasdelights original
Crouton Source: foodwishes
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