Lentil Soup with Yogurt and Lime
2 cups lentils, picked over for rocks and rinsed
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds (or 1 teaspoon dry mustard)
1 teaspoon turmeric
6 oz. spinach, washed
juice of 2 to 3 limes, about 4 tablespoons
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 cup diced cilantro
6 tablespoons yogurt
Bring the lentils to a boil with 2 1/2 quarts water. Reduce the heat to a simmer for about 25 minutes.
While the lentils are cooking, heat the butter in a skillet over low heat and add the onions. Cook till translucent, about 6-8 minutes, and add the cumin, mustard seeds and turmeric. Cook for an additional 5 minutes and add to the soup.
(Once the lentils are cooked and falling apart, I like to puree the soup, but this is optional. Puree in small batches allowing the hot steam to escape or use an immersion blender).
In either case, when the lentils are soft add the spinach, lime juice, salt and 1/3 cup of the cilantro. Adjust the seasonings if desired.
When serving, spoon a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of cilantro on each bowl.
Recipe by Mani Niall - Mix it up with Mani
Lentils, a cousin of the bean family, are high in the good stuff - complex carbohydrates, fiber, folic acid, protein - and low in calories and fat. Unlike most bean soups, lentils are ready in 25 to 30 minutes -- no overnight soaking and boiling for hours! The soup will thicken wonderfully if allowed to sit for a few hours, so make it ahead of time if possible. Lentils are available in many shades - red, green and black. Green is the most common. I used red for this soup, as they produce a rich, golden color. Add the salt to taste after cooking to keep the beans from being tough.