I am a huge fan of soups and can eat them year round and for any meal of the day. This lentil soup happens to be one of our favorites. One night I had planned a Red Lentil and Chicken soup for dinner and Kip called and asked if I cared if he invited a friend over. My philosophy is there is always room at my table, I just like a heads up if possible. I would rather have to add something to the dinner than not have room for someone. I had only met this friend of Kip's once before and I knew he was a vegetarian. I couldn't remember if he was vegan or not or what kind of vegetarian he was. I did a quick Google search for "red lentil soup" and found this recipe. It was a huge hit and has been made many times since then.
Here are all the ingredients chopped and ready to go in the pot. I don't think I had ever had lentils until I was an adult. I have made several different kinds of lentil soups with the hard brownish green lentils you can buy in almost any supermarket. I guess about three years ago I had some recipes that called for other kinds of lentils. I like these small red ones, but none of my local stores carry them. When I drive to the other side of Nashville to either Whole Foods are Trader Joe's I try and stock up on them.
Cooking the spice mixture just until they start to release their smell makes a difference for this soup.
The final step is using an immersion blender to make the soup smooth.
I serve this soup with fresh bread and it makes a nice, hearty flavorful meal.