Curry Lentil Soup

Don't hate me for living in San Diego where I really have no justifiable reason to need a good warm up anytime of the year. I didn't always live where the grass was greener (in the winter at least (and even then its usually brown))

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I grew up in Maine and spent most of my life digging myself out of snow drifts. It wasn't until I was in my late 20's that I moved to the Golden Coast and retired my snowshoes.  Even now, as I am surrounded by palm trees in January (remember, no rock throwing), I love a good, hearty soup in the winter. I mean really hearty. Really, really hearty. So hearty that any bread you try to dunk in this soup will wilt under its awesomeness. Yeah, this is THAT soup.

The sad thing is, I can't take credit for this soup. I may be the food blogger in the house, but my husband has quite a bit of culinary genius he occasionally shares with me. And this soup is his baby. It has been made winter after winter (and even sometimes in summer, spring, fall) and shared with all who have passed through our kitchen.  This soup didn't start out as the wonder that I am about to share with you. It has been made and tweaked, remade and retweaked until the curry burned your mouth in the most perfect and pleasing of ways.

Like most legume dishes, this soup is flipping fantastic on the day you make it....but even more so the day after. So, let this pot of lovely sleep in your fridge overnight. Trust me. You'll thank me for this.  

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

4 large garlic cloves, minced and divided

3 tablespoons (or more depending on how brave you are) curry powder

1 cup French green lentils

4 1/4 of water, divided

1 1/2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons butter (vegan butter for vegan option) 

1 large potato, diced

salt & pepper to taste

green onions, diced (optional) 

1. Heat the 1 tablespoon oilive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, toss in the onions and carrots. Cook until tender and onions appear translucent. 

2. Add half of the minced garlic to the pot and continue to stir over heat for a few more minutes.

3. Stir in curry powder. Add lentils and 4 cups of water. season with salt and pepper. 

4. Turn up heat and bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes (or until lentils are tender). When 10 minutes remain, add potato.  

5. While lentil mixture simmers, add chickpeas, lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining garlic to a food processor and puree until smooth.

6. Once lentil mixture has finished simmering, remove from heat. Sir in chickpea mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with green onions.