Opa’s Spicy Lentil Soup

Last revised:  12-Mar-09

Yield: 4 servings

This is a simple yet intriguingly spicy, Lentil soup.  I love spicy, full-bodied foods.  Wimpy food lovers or quiche eaters need read no further!  I also like lentils—for a lot of reasons.  Besides liking the flavor, one of the best being that they don’t have to be soaked ahead of time.  So I can make it pretty well at the spur of the moment.

Heat the oil, add chopped onion, stir and sauté until limp and starting to brown.

[NB: I suggest that you have the water ready-to-go BEFORE you start the seeds.  Cuz you’re gonna need it to stop the popping seeds!]

Add the mustard and cumin seeds, stirring constantly as they sizzle and brown, and finally begin to pop.  Once they start popping, add the water or broth, crushed garlic, chopped celery, sliced carrot, lentils, tomatoes, cayenne pepper, and chili powder
NB: the amount of Cayenne pepper and Chili powder will control the amount of fire in your soup!  If you want it "cooler", back off on them.  If you like it the way I like it, double up!

Cook for about 45 min or until the lentils are tender.  Add the cilantro leaves in the last few minutes of cooking, or even after you’ve taken the pot off the fire in preparation for serving.

At this point you have a hearty, spicy, lentil soup.  While the soup is cooking, I usually grill a split Kielbasa and slice it into the serving bowl.  You can also add a dollop of sour cream for a richer creamier soup (and to cool the fire in case you overdo the spices!).   Or, another variation from my young grandson:  sprinkle fresh grated parmesan cheese & aromatic ground nutmeg over the top.

To complete the meal I suggest a torn chunk of my “Rustic Country Bread” bread, and a cellar cool beer.  Enjoy!