1 cup lentils, about 6 ounces
6 cups cold water
1/8 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium-size yellow onion, diced, about 2 cups
0 cayenne pepper
1 small carrot, diced, about 1/2 cup
1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 pound fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, about 1 cup or 1 (8 ounces can) tomatoes with juice, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Sort and rinse the lentils and place them in a soup pot with the cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 20 minutes.
While the lentils are cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium-size sauté pan and add the onion, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a few pinches of cayenne. Cook over medium heat until the onions are soft, 7 to 8 minutes, then add the vegetables, another 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the spices. Cook for 5 minutes, then stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute or two. Add the vegetables and tomatoes to the lentils and their broth. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend and deepen. Season to taste with salt and cayenne. Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of cilantro.