food | red lentil soup with east indian spices

 the ingredients.  those small seeds are mustard seeds that get fried in butter at the end of the recipe and then go on top of the soup.  they're really tasty and add crunch in contrast to the soft lentils.

 ze zuppa.  my photography needs improvement here, maybe a new camera is in order!  the lentils are mild, so adding all the spices and the cilantro really makes the soup interesting.  i thought about making a dip with this too.  you could thicken it up by cooking it longer, layer a greek yogurt or sour cream on top, top it with the cumin and mustard seeds and cilantro and serve it with warm crusty bread.
i love to use color in food to help balance out my energy.  reds, to orange and anything in between, brings in the fire element and can be used to help if you are cold, feeling sluggish, need inspiration,  or if you are generally apathetic and in need of an energy boost.  this soup is one of my favorites for fall, it has lots of onion, garlic and turmeric; all of which are great for warding off viruses, pesky bacteria and they are known to boost the immune system.  xx, dana

recipe:  red lentil soup with east indian spices
(adapted from feeding the whole family by cynthia lair)

4 teaspoons ghee or butter
1 onion, chopped
1-2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup dried red lentils
4 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoon each cumin and mustard seeds
1 tablespoon ghee or butter
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

heat butter or ghee in a large pot.  sauté onions and garlic in ghee until brown.  add spices and stir for 2-3 minutes.  add tomatoes and cook until they break down.  wash and drain lentils.  add lentils and water to pot.  let simmer for 45 minutes, stirring often.  stir in salt.  heat 1 tablespoon ghee or butter in small skillet and fry seeds until they pop.  stir fried seeds and cilantro into finished soup.  

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