French Lentil & Orzo Soup

12 cups water
6 tbsp oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
3 dried red chillies
1/4 tsp ground peppercorns
1 large red onion, sliced
Salt to taste
2 cups French lentils
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup orzo pasta
Chopped fresh cilantro
Thick Greek yogurt
Lemon wedges
Toasted bread slices

1. Heat up your oil in a large pot, and brown the cumin seeds till they are dark, 2-3 mins.

2. Add the dried chillies and ground peppercorns and cook for 20 secs.

3. Add the onion and the salt, and cook till deeply caramelized, stirring often. Splash with a bit of water to keep the onions from sticking to the bottom of the pot. The more color you give your onions, the better the soup will taste andlook.

4. Stir in the turmeric and the lentils. Pour in 2 cups of water and cook for 5 mins.

5. Add 10 more cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook for 20 mins.

6. Stir in the orzo and bring soup back up to a boil. Cook uncovered for another 10 mins till orzo is ready, then turn off the heat. Let the soup stand for 30 mins - 2 hours so that it thickens. Taste for seasoning! Warm it up again before serving with fresh cilantro, a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, and lemon wedges. And DON'T forget the crusty bread!