Curried Lentil Soup with Pita

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Curried Lentil Soup and Pita

This hearty soup is full of texture and spices that pair awesomely with the crunchy and fluffy whole grain pita.

Heat from both sides creates the perfect pita; therefore a pizza stone or ceramic tray placed in the oven while it is preheating is the way to go. If you don’t have a baking stone, just take a metal or stainless steel baking/cookie tray (disposable will not work as well because it won't get hot enough) and place it upside down in the oven to get hot.

Turmeric adds a subtle earthy flavor and bright color to anything it is added to. Turmeric is known for its many health benefits including its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 8 for pita, 10 for soupServings

Ingredients

Pita Bread

  • 3 cups whole wheat bread flour
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1¼ - 1½ cups room temperature water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Curried Lentil Soup

  • 3 - 4 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ¼-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 5 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper (or 1 fresh jalapeño, chopped)
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1¼ cups dried French or green lentils, picked through and rinsed well
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder, 2 teaspoons freshly grated turmeric, or 1 teaspoon dried turmeric and 3 curry leaves
  • 3 cups winter squash, peeled and chopped
  • 3 or 4 quarts water or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Preparation

Pita Bread:

1. Combine flour, salt, yeast, sugar or honey, water and evoo in a large bowl. Knead dough by hand for 5 to 10 minutes. Roll dough into a smooth ball.

2. Smear evoo into a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, smearing a little evoo on the top. Cover dough with a damp cloth and rest for 90 minutes.

3. Punch it down and knead for 5 minutes.

4. Section dough into 8 even pieces (3 ounces each). Roll each piece into a ball, cover, and let it rest on a lightly floured surface for 20 minutes more.

5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500°F.

6. Roll each ball out with a rolling pin to a ¼-inch thick. Flour both sides to prevent the dough from sticking. Bake 2 to 4 balls of dough at 500°F for 3 to 5 minutes. When you see the pita begin to blow up and then brown slightly, it's done! Remove from the oven using a spatula. Take care when removing from the oven, pita are very steamy inside.

7. Keep cooked pita covered with a slightly damp cloth or even place inside a paper bag to keep them supple so they don’t dry out. If you want to make crispy pita chips, just bake the pita longer, about 8 minutes and let them cool on a rack.

Curried Lentil Soup:

1. Warm coconut oil in a large pot.

2. Add cumin seeds and toast until fragrant. Then add onion, ginger, garlic, celery, salt, and crushed red pepper; cook for 5 minutes.

3. Add carrots, lentils, curry powder or turmeric, squash and water; cover with water and simmer until the lentils are just soft, about 15 minutes.

4. Add cilantro at the end. Ladle into bowls and serve with warm pita bread..

Recipe published in JOY of KOSHER with Jamie Geller magazine Winter 2013. Subscribe Now. 

Chanukah 2013 Magazine