Ingredients: – 2 tablespoons olive oil – 1 large yellow onion, diced – 1 large carrot, finely diced – 2 cloves garlic, minced – ½ teaspoon cumin – ¼ teaspoon turmeric – Pinch of cayenne pepper – 1 cup red lentils – 3½ cups vegetable stock – ¾ teaspoon kosher salt – Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Sauté the onion and carrot until soft.

Add the garlic, cumin, and turmeric, and sauté for 30 seconds. Sautéing the spices before adding liquid helps them “bloom”, which releases their flavor.

Add the red lentils and stock, and cook for 18–20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Stir the soup occasionally as it cooks. 

Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice, then ladle the soup into bowls.  Garnish with cilantro,  red pepper flakes, olive oil, and/or crushed pita chips.