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Orange-lentil soup

March 29, 2006
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Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the croutons
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 cups orange lentils, picked over and rinsed
6 cups low-sodium canned chicken stock
3 slices whole-wheat or white bread, crusts removed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup lemon juice
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Cook the onion, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until it softens. Add the lentils and stir well.

2. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and cook, skimming occasionally to remove any foam on the surface, for 45 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside for 15 minutes.

3. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Have on hand a baking dish large enough to hold the bread slices.

4. Brush the bread with oil. Cut the slices into small cubes. Place them in a single layer in the dish and toast them in the oven for 7 minutes or until they are crisp and golden.

5. In a blender, puree the lentil soup in batches. Return it to the pot. Add the cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir well, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, in a bowl stir the yogurt, lemon juice, and rind.

7. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle them with croutons, and spoon yogurt into each bowl before serving.

Adapted from ''The Arab Table"

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