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Curried Red Lentil Soup with Cilantro

I love this soup. Curry and red lentils are like love and marriage. They adore each other and we adore them as a result. Creamy without any saturated fats or yucky dairy, this soup is slightly spicy and a completely satisfying first course.

Ingredients
1 teaspoon avocado oil 
3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed 
1/2 red onion, diced 
Sea salt 
1 teaspoon curry powder 
Generous pinch saffron 
1 stalk celery, diced 
1 medium carrot, diced 
1 cup canned diced tomatoes 
1 cup red lentils, rinsed very well 
1 bay leaf 
4 cups spring or filtered water 
2 to 3 sprigs cilantro, finely minced, for garnish

Directions 
Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and a pinch of salt and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in curry powder and grind the saffron between your fingers into the onion to release its essence and saute for 30 seconds. Stir in celery and a pinch of salt and saute for 1 minute. Stir in carrot and a pinch of salt and saute for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, lentils, bay leaf and water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until lentils are quite creamy, about 35 minutes. Season with about 1 teaspoon salt and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes more. Remove and discard bay leaf. Serve garnished with cilantro.

Makes 4-5 servings. 



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