Beluga Black Lentil Soup

Serves 4

1 Tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch cayenne
1/2 Cup diced sweet red and or yellow peppers
1/2 Cup finely diced onion
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 Cup black "beluga" lentils
4 to 5 Cups water
salt to taste

Heat the oil over medium heat in a medium-large pot. Add the spices and cook a few moments until fragrant. Add the peppers, onion and garlic. Continue cooking until the vegetables soften, about two minutes. Add one teaspoon of salt and four cups of water and the lentils and simmer covered over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Simmer uncovered for five minutes. Remove a half cup of lentils and mash, then return to pot. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or cayenne as desired. This soup is good just as it is but if you want to fancy it up you could garnish with a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream and chopped chives.

Amy Sherman is a writer, recipe developer, and restaurant reviewer in San Francisco. She is the editor of Cooking with Amy, a food blog, and recently wrote WinePassport:Portugal.

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