- 2 cups split red lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 1 T turmeric
- 4 T butter
- 1 large onion, finely diced, about 2 cups
- 2 t ground cumin
- 1.5 t mustard seeds or 1 t ground mustard
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped, about 1 cup
- 3 limes juiced
- 1 large bunch spinach leaves, chopped
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 4-6 T yogurt
Put the lentils in a soup pot with 2.5 quarts of water, the turmeric, 1 T of the butter, and 1 T salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are soft and falling apart, about 20 minutes. Puree for a smoother, nicer-looking soup.
While the soup is cooking, prepare the onion flavoring in a medium skillet over low heat. Cook the onion in 2 T of the remaining butter with cumin, mustard, and stirring occasionally. When soft, about the time the lentils are cooked, or after 15 minutes, add the cilantro and cook for a minute more. Add the onion mixture to the soup, then add the juice of 2 limes. Taste, then add more lime as needed to bring up the flavors, a tad sour.
Just before serving, add the last T of butter to a wide skillet. When foamy, add the spinach, sprinkle with salt, and cook just long enough to wilt. If the rice is warm, place a spoonful in each bowl, if it’s leftover, add it to the soup and let it heat through for a minute. Serve the soup, divide the spinach among the bowls, and swirl in a spoonful of yogurt.
From Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison