Five-Alarm Red Lentil Soup

I can’t believe I have NEVER in my life had lentils! I will say that I had a hard time finding the Red Lentils. I of course assumed they would be in the bean isle. Lentils are located here…just not the RED lentils. I finally found them in the ethnic isle at Meijer. From what I have been told there is a big difference between the green and red lentils. I will have to find a recipe with the green lentils to try. I LOVED this soup. Ashley from our office brought in this soup for her lunch. The aroma filled the room, so of course  had to ask for the recipe. It is a super simple recipe with just the right amount of heat. I mean anything that calls for 3/4 cup Sriracha sauce has to be good! I took a bowl over to my daughter’s house for her to try. She loved it as well. So if you are lookign for a simple recipe with a lot of flavor give this soup a try. NO BULL it is delicious!

FIVE-ALARM LENTIL SOUP

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 red onions, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons ground cumin
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 cup Sriracha, plus more for garnish
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 pound red lentils
8 cups vegetable stock ( I used chicken stock)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sour cream, for garnish
Chopped fresh cilantro or chives, for garnish

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute until they begin to soften, 6 to 8 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, paprika, cumin, bay leaves, tomato paste, and Sriracha, cooking for 1 to 2 minutes, until aromatic.

Add the tomatoes, and scrape up any of the brown bits that have accumulated at the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Pour in the lentils and vegetable stock, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes, until the lentils are softened and cooked thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Discard the bay leaves.

Ladle into bowls. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of cilantro and perhaps a last-minute squiggle of Sriracha for color and zip.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

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