The other day I decided to make one of my favorite recipes from Moro cookbook: lentil soup with cumin. It’s a wonderful recipe that requires little else besides lentils and cumin – with cumin, of course, being the key. We had friends over for dinner and I was quite excited about making this soup. It’s simple and delicious, and perfect just as it is.
But I must have underestimated how often I have made this recipe recently, because the guests had already arrived and I was about to start the soup when I realized that I had run out of cumin. Thomas went out to get the indispensable spice from a store close by and returned with deceptively labeled coarsely ground black pepper… So, I had to improvise – I used curry powder and fresh sage leaves instead.
Typically the story should end with a revelation, a new wonderful recipe discovered by necessity. But no, unfortunately, Moro’s lentil soup with cumin has no cause to envy my lentil soup with sage and curry. Sage did seem like a good idea, however, and since I cannot resist tweaking recipes, even those that need no tweaking, this week I made lentils with sage and cumin for Louise.
1 medium onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 sage leaves
1 cup (200g) red lentils
Slice onion finely. Heat a good drizzle olive oil in a small heavy bottomed saucepan, add onion and let sweat, stirring occasionally, over medium heat.
Thinly slice garlic clove, grind cumin seeds in a mortar, and wash lentils under running water through fine mesh sieve.
Once the onion starts to brown, add garlic, cumin, and sage leaves. Stir well and let cook for about a minute. Add lentils, stir well again. Add 3 cups (750 ml) water. Cover and cook at a lively simmer for about 30-40 minutes, until the lentils are soft.
Blend the lentils, squeeze a few drops of lemon juice before serving.
*This doesn’t have to be just for babies. Add Maldon sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, a drop of excellent olive oil, and a hint of harissa and it makes a very decent soup.