Lentil Pasta Soup Recipe
My father-in-law, like my husband Lulu, is a vegetarian. One of his favorite meals is kali dal. Because of this, we often have leftover cooked black lentils. As usual, we still had some left last night, so I decided that this time it would not go to waste.
Lentils are packed with protein, so today I created a complete meal by adding pastina pasta and a few vegetables. For more contrast in color, you could add some greens such as spinach. I stuck to carrots, celery and leeks. The result is a delicious, spicy lentil pasta soup.
Yields: 6 servings2 cups kali dal (black lentils)
2/3 cup pastina pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon salt
3 cans low-sodium vegetable broth
1 (8-inch) leek (green part only), finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
2 celery stalk, peeled and diced
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
For the pasta: Bring about 1 quart of water to a boil. Add the pasta, bring back to a full boil, then immediately lower the heat to a gentle boil. Cook the pasta for about 8 minutes total. Salt the water half way through the cooking process (it will bring out the natural flavor of the pasta and the pasta will be more tender) and keep stirring every now and then so that it doesn't stick to the bottom. Drain the pasta (do NOT rinse). Set aside in a large fine-mesh strainer.
For the vegetables: In the pot, heat the oil. Add the onions and leeks. Cook until the color is evenly golden brown (about 5 minutes), stirring frequently to prevent them from burning. Add the celery and carrot. As soon as they're browned, add 3 cans of vegetable broth. Add the lentils, bring the liquid back to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
Assembly time: Uncover the pot, add the lentils. Bring to a boil, then add the cooked pastina pasta. Check the consistency of the soup. The quantity of liquid may vary depending on the heat of the stove and how long you're cooking the vegetables. At the end, I let it simmer uncovered, sometimes adding another 1 cup of water (but no more than that because I don't like the soup too thin) until I achieve the right consistency and level of doneness. Finish with black pepper.
For more color, you could add spinach or kale to the soup at the end.
You could replace the pasta with sweet potatoes or rice.
You can find black lentils (dal) at any Indian stores.
Initially, kali dal is spicy, so you don't need to add anymore spices to the soup.Published By: on February 18, 2011.