This spiced lentil soup is, in a way, a take on the very lovely Indian dish Dal, in an exceedingly soupy and smoother form.
This is definitely a restorative soup for the first chilly days of autumn, though I liked it enough that I will probably trot it out for the first snowy day of winter as well.
1/4 cup orange lentils
1/2 small tomato, roughly chopped
1/4 small yellow or white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
Generous pinch of turmeric
Generous pinch of chili flakes or Espelette pepper
Generous pinch of mustard seeds
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of clove
1 tsp olive oil
Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a saucepan along with all of the spices.
As soon as the spices emit a fragrant smell, add the onion and stir to combine. Cook for a minute before adding the lentils, the tomatoes, and two cups of water.
Lower the heat and cover. Cook for 12-15 minutes, until the lentils are soft and near to disintegrating, checking at the halfway mark and adding a half a cup of extra water if needed and salting the dish at this time.
Remove from the heat and puree until smooth, either in the blender or with an emersion blender.
If wanted, add a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the soup with a bit of acidity. I liked the earthy spiciness of it, which I felt went well with the start of the season.