Orange-Scented Lentil Soup : Not Quite Dorie's

For a while now I have been following Diane Balch's  "French Fridays with Dorie." She is a proud member of the club and gives very clear and honest reviews on the recipes she tries. I really enjoy reading her posts and had bookmarked this particular recipe because unlike many other French recipes the Orange-Scented Lentil Soup  seemed down-to-earth, cook-able yet chic. Of course with the limited supply of ingredients I had in hand and with Diane's review in mind, I modified the recipe a bit. so the version that you'll see here is not quite Dorie's though it is totally inspired by her's.

I figured that the essence of the soup was in simmering the veggies and the lentils along with strips of orange peels and spices. so i remained faithful to that part of the recipe. though instead of French lentils I used red lentils or masoor dal as we call it. and in place of coriander seeds I used a combination of Indian spices. namely, one whole anise star and ground roasted cumin. the result was delightful. even before tasting the soup I knew something wonderful was simmering in the pot.... the combined aroma of the oranges and the spices kept telling me so. and they really kept their promise. The soup was delicious. since the soup tasted delicious by itself I skipped the yogurt topping and the bacon all-together that were part of Dorie's recipe and we did not regret it at all. Also, I did not puree the soup. it felt like an unnecessary addition to the chores. i served the soup straight from the pot to the bowl... and before starting to slurp on our spoonfuls plucked out the anise star and cloves   from it.. it was the perfect dinner along with the Partybrot bread( pictures and recipe coming up soon) i had baked..

now over to the recipe... 

1/4 cup masoor dal
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 celery rib, trimmed and thinly sliced (save the leaves from the stalk)
15 baby carrots, i diced half of them and thinly sliced the rest
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth (i used chicken broth)
1/2 strip orange peel, about 1 x 2 inches, white pith removed and thinly sliced
6 black peppercorns
1 whole anise star
2 whole cloves (the spice)
3/4 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 orange cut into small pieces and skin removed
leaves from 1 celery stalk finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, roasted and ground
salt and pepper to taste (since the cooked dal and the chicken broth i used had enough salt in it, i did not add anymore salt.)

    what i did
    • first of all i cooked the lentil/dal to a mash. for this,  i pressure cooked it in 2 1/4 cup water along with some salt for 4 whistles then simmered the cooker for 10 minutes before switching of the heat. (i often cook the dals this way for soups. it helps in getting a thin uniform consistency after being simmered  with the added chicken/vegetable broth and veggies.)
    • next in a saucepan, i heated the olive oil. then added the onions, celery and carrots in it. cooked them together over medium low flame until the vegetables were tender.
    • next i added the cooked lentils, chicken broth, orange peels, peppercorns, anise star, cloves and grated ginger to the cooked vegetables, covered the pot and simmered the broth for about 20 minutes, until all the ingredients looked well combined and a nice aroma lingered around the pot. 
    • i then added the orange pieces and finely chopped celery leaves and simmered the soup for another 10-15 minutes before switching of the heat and stirring in the roasted ground cumin.
    at this point I tasted a spoonful. thought it was perfect just like that. so i went ahead and served it in the bowls and minuted later delighted over the subtle flavors of the soup.
    Sending this to  the April Challenge of No Croutons Required,  a monthly vegetarian soup and salad challenge hosted jointly between Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa from Lisa's Kitchen.

    Also sending to the event,  

    and the following weekly food events :
    Monday Food:  Marvelous Mondays @ This Gal CooksMeatless Monday @Veggie Mama's Meatless Monday My Sweet and SavoryJust Another Meatless Monday @ Hey What's for Dinner Mom
    Thursday Food:Link it Up Thursday @ Seven AliveCreative Thursday @ Michelle's Tasty CreationsFantastic Thursday @ Three Little ChiefsThriving on Thursdays @ DomesblissityFreedom Friday @ My Turn, Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
    Friday Food: Foodie Friday @ Home Maid SimpleFriday Favorite (DYI too) @ Simple Sweet HomeFoodie Friday @ Not Your Ordinary Recipes Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm Weekend Wonders @ The Thriftiness MissFriday Food Frenzy @ Mostly Food and Crafts , Weekend Potluck @ Sunflower Supper Club The Weekend re-Treat @The Best Blog  RecipesFresh Bites Friday @ Real Food, Wellness Weekend, Weekend Kitchen Link Party

    Few other orange-ish recipes that you might like....
    Spiced Orange Buns 
    Blood Red Orange Brownie Bars

    and some porcelainware, cookbooks and silver from my amazon wishlist....


    1. Thank you so much for following my French Fridays series... it has been quite a cooking adventure for me. I love your version of the recipe... marvelous. I can smell it from your list of ingredients. Thanks so much for sharing it with us on foodie friday.

      1. Thank you Diane for dropping by. I am really enjoying your French Fridays with Dorie.

    2. Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing this awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday.
      Hope to see you soon!
      Miz Helen

      1. Thank you Miz Helen. It is pleasure to share recipe on Full Plate Thursday.

    3. oooh, this looks like my kind of soup. I like the Indian flavours mixed with the orange. :)

    4. Thanks for entering your dish into this month's No Croutons Required. I love the peel in the soup, fabulous. The Indian Spice roundup is up, if you want to have a look.

    5. Delicious Lentil soup Tanu, Looks colorful and perfect.


    Thanks for stopping by. It was nice having you here. Have a good day.

    Take care and come back soon.
    Best, Tanusree

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