Ruby Dal

Looking for something sweet and colorful to warm up your supper spread? This is not your average beetroot soup. Creamy and satisfying with just a hint of spice, the flavour of the red lentils mellow out the assertive taste of the beet making for a beautiful pairing. With few ingredients required and a fast execution, it works weekdays and weekends alike.

Yield: 2 servings as a main course, 4 servings as a side

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup masoor dal (red lentils)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped red beet (about 1/2” dice so it cooks in the same time as the lentils)
  • 1 shallot, peeled and diced (or a small red onion)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 slices of fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder (up to 1/2 teaspoon if you like coriander, but for it to remain subtle, 1/4 teaspoon is the way to go)
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon mellow white miso (optional)
  • chopped toasted walnut and/or flax oil to serve (optional)

What you do:

  1. In a 2 quart saucepan or soup pot, bring the water and lentils to a boil. Skim off the scum and froth that comes to the top.
  2. Add the chopped beet, shallot, bay, ginger and coriander powder to the pot. Stir, turn the heat to medium-low and simmer covered, with the lid sligthly ajar, until the lentils are tender and beets cooked through, 20-30 minutes.
  3. Add salt to desired level. If you’ll be using the miso, then salt a little less than usual since miso is salty.
  4. Stir again and then simmer on low another 10 minutes, still covered.
  5. Remove from heat, uncover, remove the bay leaves and ginger slices and compost them. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup (or a regular stand blender if you prefer). Be careful, hot liquids and spluttering and all that… Check the texture and add a bit more water if you want the soup thinner. Add the miso if using and purée some more, to integrate it in the soup. Taste test. Adjust things to your liking.
  6. Serve, garnished with some chopped toasted walnuts or cold-pressed flax oil. Or be decadent, use both.

Variations (The Cabbage Chronicles Continue…):

  • Add a healthy serving of thinly sliced steamed or sautéed cabbage (preferably red cabbage) to each serving of soup.
  • Use yellow beets instead of red for a Sunny Soup rather than a Ruby Dal.
  • Add a clove or two of garlic along with shallot and beet if you feel like it.

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