1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots or 1 cup chopped white onion
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1 teaspoon ground coriander
28 ounces chopped fresh plum tomatoes or one 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 cups 1% milk
1 cup fat-free low sodium chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 cup cooked lentils
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, without stems
Salt to taste
Heat olive oil in a heavy 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add shallots and sauté for about 3 minutes or just until softened but not browned. Add spices and cook for one minute or until fragrant. Carefully add tomatoes, tomato paste and garlic. Simmer until the tomatoes are softened; about 4 minutes. Add milk and broth; simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes.
Carefully transfer mixture in batches to the bowl of a food processor or a blender jar. Process or blend until smooth. Return to saucepan and add cooked lentils, stirring to incorporate. Heat through and stir in cilantro. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper.
If fresh tomatoes aren’t in season, use canned plum tomatoes. They’ll add robust flavor and deep rich color. Lentils add texture to the soup as well as lots of fiber!
Recipe by Cheryl Forberg, RD, author of Positively Ageless: A 28 Day Plan for a Younger, Slimmer Sexier You, (Rodale - April 2008)