About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.
Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!
- Yield:Serves 4 to 6
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:30 minutes
- For the Soup
- 1 small carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
- 6 scallions, white parts only, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, split in half
- 1-inch knob ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeño or Serrano chili, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1 pound red or yellow lentils
- 1 1/2 quarts homemade or store-bought low sodium vegetable stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup lemon juice from 2 lemons
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the Curry Yogurt
- 1 cup non-fat Greek-style yogurt
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 teaspoon Japanese or Madras curry powder
Combine carrots, celery, scallions, garlic, ginger, and chili in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until very finely chopped, about 15 short pulses, scraping down bowl as necessary.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chopped vegetables and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and aromatic but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add lentils, chicken stock, and bay leaves. Simmer, stirring occasionally until lentils are fully tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
While lentils cook, combine yogurt, cilantro, and curry powder in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a small serving bowl.
When lentils are cooked, remove and discard bay leaves. Working in two batches, purée soup in a blender, drizzling in remaining extra virgin olive oil while blender runs. Return soup to a pot, whisk in lemon juice, thin to desired consistency with water or stock, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve immediately, passing the curry yogurt and extra-virgin olive oil on the side.