31 January 2011

sunday soup, potato & red lentil with homemade pita

Back at the Sunday Soup game. And with an observation: photographing soup is hard.  Even just getting soup to look good is hard, unless you are prepared with a full arsenal of garnishes and even then it's a crapshoot. For instance, I made a tasty arborio rice soup earlier this month, but the photos were so far below even my normally-lax standard that I just couldn't publish them. How do you get your soup to both taste and look delicious?  It's on ongoing mystery.

Regardless of how it looks, this soup was awesome. It was inspired by a recipe from A Beautiful Bowl of Soup, but was also inspired by a recipe in The Kind Diet and the veggies we happened to have on hand. So it's an original.

Potato and Red Lentil Soup


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 small leeks, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 medium potato, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 3/4 cup dried red lentils
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • medium onion, thinly sliced
  • pita
  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven and add onions, leeks and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Add in carrots, celery, potato, cumin and coriander and saute for another 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add vegetable stock, lentils and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. While soup is simmering, prepare the garnish. Heat olive oil in a skillet and add the onion. Cook on low for ten minutes, until onion is very tender and beginning to brown.
  4. Serve with a heap of cooked onions on top and wedges of pita bread.
The sauteed onion garnish really makes the soup, so don't skip it. I think red lentils are key here, because unlike brown ones, they really break apart and lose their shape when cooked. That sounds like a bad thing, but it's perfect for soup because you get a thick, creamy texture without any cream.  Mmm. And a note about the pita... I made it myself! Much more successful than the naan experiment. I made the dough in my bread machine and then shaped the pita loaves by hand and baked at 500 degrees for just five minutes. Some of them puffed up huge like balloons and some stayed pretty flat. They were the right texture and flavor and I'm probably going to become obsessed with making pita. So look forward to that.


    1. Just wondering what the boy is up to while you are so busy making all this great food.

    2. We're usually cooking together! We've become pros at gracefully staying out of each others way when we cook and ducking or dodging whenever someone opens the refrigerator door or a cabinet :)

    3. Peas & Carrots is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of the two of you cooking together in your wee little kitchen :) !

      Presentation is only half the battle, and who could resist a bowl of soup served in a hand made pottery bowl, placed a pond a beautiful festive plate. Nice job on the photo!

      So I made your potato leek soup last week and it was delicious. (Hannaford’s had the biggest leeks I’ve ever seen for only 99 cents each). So it was a really inexpensive meal, unless you add in the Hillshire Farms Little Smokies that someone, who shall remain nameless had to have, why… because where’s the meat??

    4. Sunday soup is my signature trademark thankyouverymuch.

    5. This looks so good and it's vegan so I can actually eat it! I will definitely add this to my recipes to check out. Thank you!


    Hi & thanks for joining in! I try to respond to comments directly at the post page, so check back frequently.