Makes 4 – 5 cups
I was thrilled to see red lentils on the Monash University’s list of low-FODMAP foods. It’s a great vegetarian source of protein and fiber. This recipe is a FODMAP-friendly riff on Melissa Clark’s red lentil soup from the New York Times. Here are a couple of tips to help improve digestibility, nutrition and flavor:
- Soak your uncooked lentils in water for 30 – 60 minutes before using then drain. Soaking lentils helps leach out problematic FODMAP carbohydrates, which improves digestibility. Soaking lentils (and grains for that matter) also helps to remove phytic acid, a natural compound found in lentils, beans and grains that binds with nutrients such as iron, which makes it less accessible for the body to absorb.
- We start the cooking process by building foundations of onion and garlic flavor by using onion and garlic infused oils. Click here to read more about the process.
- “Bloom” your spices to amp up the flavor. Heating spices in oil until they are fragrant and toasty helps to deepen the flavor. And in FODMAP cooking, we need all the flavor we can get!
1 cup red lentils
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch of green onions (scallions),dark and light green segments separated and chopped
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon or cayenne, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 cups water (or low-FODMAP chicken or vegetable stock)
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
3 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Special Equipment: Immersion blender or regular blender
- Cover lentils with water and soak for 30 – 60 minutes, then drain.
- Heat garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat. Sauté until golden brown, about 3 – 4 minutes, taking care not to burn them, then discard.
- Sauté the light green onion segments in the garlic oil. Cook until they are fragrant and starting to brown, then discard.
- Bloom spices by adding cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne to olive oil. Sauté stirring constantly until spices are fragrant and darker in color, about 60 seconds.
- Add chopped dark green segments of the onion and sauté until softened about 5 – 6 minutes.
- Add tomato paste, lentils, carrots and water. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer then partially cover.
- Simmer until lentils are soft about 30 minutes.
- Using the immersion blender (or regular blender) puree soup to the desired texture. Smooth or chunky, it’s up to you. Return soup to pot.
- Add lemon juice, then add salt, freshly ground pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.
- Top soup with cilantro. Serve with a lemon wedge.