2 tablespoons canola oil

¼ cup minced garlic

¼ cup minced ginger

2 to 3 jalapenos, seeded and minced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 tablespoons curry powder

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 bay leaves

4 quarts water

1 ¼ pounds red lentils, picked over

Juice of 2 limes

Kosher salt

½ cup minced cilantro


Heat a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pot. Add the garlic, ginger, and jalapenos and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until soft. Add the celery and carrot and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until soft. Add the curry powder, cumin, and bay leaves and sauté 1 to 2 minutes more, or until fragrant. Add the water and lentils, bring to a boil, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the lentils fall apart. Discard the bay leaves, stir in the lime juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into individual bowls, top with plenty of cilantro, and serve immediately.      


Serves 8. A bowlful of this nourishing vegetarian soup with its aromatic spices will warm you on the coldest of days. I sometimes serve it over cooked basmati rice.