Spicy Orange Lentil Potato Soup

So tonight I had a craving for some of the same lentil soup that we ate at St. Andrews last summer. For some reason, this soup is so absolutely delicious even though it’s ridiculously cheap and easy. I liked it so much that I got the recipe for it while I was in Cairo. So today I gave into temptation and made the soup. I had to doctor the soup a little bit to give it a little more nutrition and protein. Here’s the recipe the way that I made it. (Bear with me, I only eyeballed the measurements. You may need to adjust them to your liking.)

Spicy Orange Lentil Potato Soup
(Servings: at least 6-8)

1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, diced
1-2 tsp olive oil
2-3 Tbsp tomato paste
3 fresh roma tomatoes, diced
1 tsp ground cumin
4 whole dried chili peppers
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1/4 ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 large yukon potatoes, diced
2 cups orange lentils
1 cup TVP (optional, for extra protein!)
enough water to boil the soup! (Next time, I will make sure to use some chicken or veggie broth with the water.)
salt to taste

Make sure that all of your ingredients are chopped/diced really finely! Saute the onion, garlic, and carrot in the olive oil. (I “accidentally” let the onion burn a little, which gave the soup an extra little oomph!) Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, cumin, and enough water to make a broth. Simmer for a few minutes then blend with an immersion blender to make a smoother stock. (Or don’t. It’ll just be a little lumpy if you don’t, but still royally delicious.) Add the rest of the ingredients and just enough water to boil the potatoes, lentils, and TVP. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to simmer for for at least 20 minutes to fully cook the lentils and potatoes. Add more water as necessary. Salt to taste. When the potatoes are done, use the back of a spoon to “smoosh” the potatoes so that the broth gets a little thicker and creamier.

***You may want to use less peppers if you don’t like your soup so spicy. Make sure to pull out the whole chilis when the soup is as spicy as you like. Otherwise, they’re going to keep making the soup spicier.