By Jean Arthur
My family first enjoyed this crimson-colored organic lentil soup during a river trip. I made the soup using Montana organic, heirloom Petite Crimson Lentils from Timeless Seeds and late-season veggies, herbs and spices from my garden and a local farmers’ market. I froze the soup to keep the cooler chilled during our multi-day paddle. The cilantro remained fresh in loosely sealed wax paper.
4 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 chopped onions
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 garlic scapes, sliced and halved into 4-inch long strips
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne or red pepper flakes
1-2 fresh or dried whole peppers such as habanero
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 quarts broth (chicken or vegetable)
3 cups water
2 cups rinsed organic Petite Crimson lentils
2 large carrots, diced
Juice from 1 lemon
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- In large pot, sauté onion, garlic and garlic scapes in oil for 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in chopped tomatoes, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Add broth, water, whole dried pepper, and carrots. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add 2 cups red lentils and simmer 30-40 minutes, partly covered.
- Use an immersion blender to partially puree lentils and ingredients.
- Add lemon juice. Remove from heat, cool, then freeze for the camp cooler.
- Serve heated up and topped with fresh cilantro.
After a few days camping, my family experimented with additions to the soup, from jalapeños to salsa, chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, a squeeze of lime and even chopped ginger. While the recipe makes enough for eight large servings, no leftovers survived my four hungry boaters.