Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Vegan Masoor Dal Soup

Lentils are a vegan's best friend.  They are tasty, versatile, filling, fast-cooking, and hella-cheap.  I've done a lot of things with lentils in my 6 years of veganism, and tonight I'm sharing one of my favourites.  No big surprise, it's a soup.  Dal, to be exact.  Now in India, "dal" is the word for any legumes (lentils, peas and beans) that have been hulled or split. Dal can also refer to a preparation of legumes, as a stew or soup.  Hulled lentils and split peas break down when you cook them, which is perfect for making thick, stick to your ribs soups.

Now, I have to confess something.  I hate peas.  Peas of all kinds.  Most of all, I hate yellow split peas. Pea soup?  Grossest food on the planet.  I know, not very vegan of me.  But I know that they are super good for you, so I've put them in this soup, and maybe, little by little, I can teach myself to like them.  I've kept my pea-to-lentil ratio low, but if you like peas, by all means, add more!

As discussed above, it is important to use hulled lentils in order to get the right texture.  Red lentils will do the trick and easy to find in most grocery stores, but any other hulled lentil will do.

Vegan Masoor Dal

1 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, shredded or finely chopped
3-4 kale leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp each cumin, garam masala, & cayenne pepper (to start)
1 1/2 cups red lentils
1/2 cup split yellow peas
5 cups vegetable broth

Mince up your veggies and saute in a pot with a bit of oil.  Save yourself some time and mince up your veggies in a food processor if you have one.  Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until the lentils are cooked.  Taste the soup, and add more spices to taste. Serve with papadams or vegan naan bread if you can find it (most naan has dairy in it, but I've found vegan ones at the grocery store before).

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