This version of a typical South Asian soup is a tasty and nutritious use for late summer vegetables.
- 1/2 cup dried red lentils
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 3-4 dried hot red chili peppers
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
- 1 large yellow onion, minced
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1 medium potato, cubed
- 1/2 pound eggplant, cubed
- 1/2 pound okra, sliced
- salt to taste
- In a large soup pot, bring lentils and broth to a boil and simmer, covered, until soft, about 30 minutes.
- While the lentils are cooking prepare vegetables and spices. In a mortar and pestle (or a spice mill) combine coriander, peppercorns, mustard seeds, fenugreek, and cumin. Grind spices until they are a coarse powder.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large wok. Over medium heat fry the ground spices until fragrant, about one minute.
- Add asafoetida, turmeric powder, whole red chilies, and onion. Continue frying until the onion is translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in tamarind paste and add the remaining vegetables. Lower heat and cook until potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes.
- Remove cooked vegetables from heat. Add the vegetables to the lentils and broth, and when they have finished cooking season with salt to taste.