red lentils–2 cups
tomato paste–1 small can
onion & garlic & ginger
salt, pepper, paprika

Fry a couple of good sized onions, chopped, in big glug of olive oil (1/8 cup or more) in large soup kettle–slow and not hot, till onion is transparent but not brown.

Meanwhile, soak two cups of red lentils.

When the onions are golden and transparent, add a can of tomato paste, the rinsed and drained lentils, and about a quart of water (add more as needed). Add five or more cloves of chopped garlic and minced fresh ginger (a lump the size of the last digit of your thumb). Finally add a tablespoon of paprika and a teaspoon of black pepper. Stir and simmer slowly for about forty-five minutes stirring occasionally and adding water as needed; the soup is medium thick but not stiff. Toward the end, add salt (it can tolerate as much as a tablespoon, but start easy and taste as you go).

I have served it with a lemon or lime wedge and/or with sour cream or thick yogurt. A scatter of cilantro or parsley is pleasant if you have it.

This makes a big pot of soup, but it’s keeps well and is good to have on hand in cold weather. Actually in my house it doesn’t last 24 hours….