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Golden Lentil Soup
Makes 10 to 12 Servings
*3 tablespoons olive oil
*6 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
*3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
*2 onions, chopped
*1 pound dried red lentils
*1/4 cup long-grain white rice
*12 cups water
*1 tablespoon lemon pepper
*1 tablespoon seasoned salt
*2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
*1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper, plus more to taste
*1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
*1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
*Italian parsley sprigs, for garnish
1Heat the oil in a very large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the celery, carrots and onions. Saute until the onions are light caramel color, about 10 minutes.
2Stir in the lentils and rice and the water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the lentils are very soft, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.
3Stir in the lemon pepper, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper and cumin. Simmer uncovered until the flavors blend, the lentils have fallen apart and the mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice. Season the soup to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired.
4Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with Italian parsley sprigs and serve.
  • As the red lentils cook, they turn golden and literally looked pureed. You can find red lentils in most of your Middle Eastern Markets and natural health foods stores and some supermarkets.
  • As an alternative or variation to the soup, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy small saucepan until it begins to foam, then stir in a teaspoon or so of dried mint. Pour the mint mixture into the lentil soup just before serving. It is delicious!
  • Be careful with the cumin as some people are allergic to it. It also lends very strong flavor and assertive taste, so add it a little at a time, tasting as you go.
  • The soup keeps well in the refrigerator for 3 days and can be frozen for 1 week. It actually becomes more flavorful if it's prepared a day in advance and refrigerated. Re-warm it over medium heat, adding more water to thin it to a desired consistency.
  • Source
    Zov Karamardian, Zov's Bistro, Tustin, CA