Red Lentil Soup with Cumin and Quinoa
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon + ½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 Spanish onion, peeled and cut
1 fennel, fronds removed and cut
4 jumbo carrots, peeled and cut
4 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 bag dried red lentils (16 oz)
¼ cup quinoa
2 tablespoons (heaping) tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon dried coriander
¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper (can be substituted for chili powder)
Take your large soup pot (about 8 quarts) and set it over a medium-high flame on your stove. Add your olive oil, onion and ½ teaspoon of your salt. Allow the onion to cook for about 3 minutes just until it becomes soft and translucent. Then add your fennel, carrot and garlic. Cook for an additional 4 minutes. Add your lentils, quinoa and tomato paste. Using a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon mix around well in order to spread the tomato paste out onto all of the vegetables evenly. This may take a minute. Then add cold water to fill your pot. Add your remaining tablespoon of kosher salt, cumin, coriander and Aleppo pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and lower the flame to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 1.5 hours. Then using an immersion blender puree your soup until completely smooth.
This soup will last in the fridge for 1 week after it is made.
This soup lasts beautifully in the freezer for up to 2 months after it is made.