May 24, 2008

Chicken and Red Lentil Soup

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 small carrots, finely chopped
2 large ribs celery, finely chopped
½ large onion, sliced
1 ½ cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
¾ cup red lentils
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 cups chicken broth
1 ½ teaspoons tomato paste
2 cups water
Sliced green peppers, for garnish

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, curry powder, ginger, cumin, and pepper flakes. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables have softened. Stir in the lentils and place the chicken on top. Add the broth.

In a cup, combine the tomato paste with a small amount of water, then stir into the vegetable mixture. Add the remaining water. Partially cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and the chicken is cooked through.

Remove the pot from the heat. Remove the chicken from the pot, place on a cutting board, and cut into shreds. In a blender or food processor, puree 2 cups of the soup, then return it to the pot, along with the shredded chicken. Evenly divide the soup among 4 serving bowls. Sprinkle the scallion on top for garnish.

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