Egyptian Red Lentil Soup (Featured in January 2012 issue of Food and Wine):
*2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
*1 med onion, chopped
*2 carrots, finely chopped
*3 celery ribs, finely chopped
*3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
*1 teaspoon ground cumin
*1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
*1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
*1 pound tomatoes, seeded and diced (I used blanched frozen garden tomatoes, seeds remaining)
*2 cups red lentils
*Plain whole milk yogurt and lemon wedges for serving
In a heavy soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Cook until softened. Add spices. Cook and stir until fragrant. Add tomatoes followed by the lentils and 8 cups of water. Season with sea salt. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer covered for about 30 minutes.
Slightly cool and puree. Salt to taste.Serve with a dollop of yogurt, lemon wedges and warm pita.