In this Afghan-inspired soup, pungent herbs and spices elevate humble lentils to new heights. The combination of both dried and fresh mint highlights different qualities of the same ingredient. Relax, curl up, and enjoy!
Whole Peeled Tomatoes
Prep the veggies: halve, peel, and dice the onion. Peel the carrots then finely dice. Finely chop the celery. Mince or grate the garlic. Zest the lemon then halve. Slice one half into 4 wedges. Thinly slice the fresh mint, reserving a few leaves for garnish.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot and cook, tossing, for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the cumin and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the tomatoes and the dried mint to the pot. Using a potato masher or wooden spoon, break up the tomatoes until almost smooth. Add the lentils, and 2 cups water to the pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the sliced mint and the juice of half the lemon and stir to combine. TIP: If you have a blender, you can blend the soup for a creamier consistency!
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with lemon zest (to taste), reserved lemon wedges, and fresh mint leaves. Enjoy!