Pomegranate-lentil soup (6 servings)

The Kitchn is one of two food blogs I read regularly, and I was immediately intrigued by this recipe when I saw it last week.  I like soup.  I like lentils.  I like pomegranate.  I had never tried lentils with pomegranate, but I was willing to give it a try, and I was happily surprised by the results!  I made only one small change to their recipe, which was to use spinach instead of chard.

You will need:
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 cups brown lentils, picked through for stones and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach leaves, de-stemmed and finely chopped  (I rolled over the leaves with a pizza wheel, and that did the trick!)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice

Steps:
  1. Heat oil in a stockpot over medium heat.  Add onion and carrot and saute until onion is translucent (about 10 min.), stirring occasionally.
  2. Add cumin and coriander and saute one more minute.
  3. Add lentils, spinach, water, and 1/2 tsp salt and stir to combine.  Turn up the heat to bring soup to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer with lid askew until lentils are tender (about 30 min).
  4. Stir in the pomegranate juice and simmer for another 5 min.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish with pomegranate seeds (optional).

The original recipe seemed to assume I was willing to juice my own pomegranates; obviously, the writers don't know me well.  I just bought a 16-ounce bottle of POM juice instead.  I happened to have some seeds in the freezer, but I don't think they're necessary.  The juice adds a unique tang to the soup but doesn't taste overly fruity.  The lentils are still the star of the soup, as they should be.  I liked this recipe a lot, but I think the broth was lacking... something.  I was hoping for something with more depth and heartiness, but I can't quite identify what it needed.  Maybe a squirt of tomato paste would have done the trick.

I took a few photos of the soup, but they didn't turn out well.  My lens kept getting steamed up!  The photo on the original recipe is gorgeous, and the only difference between their finished product and mine is that their fresh pomegranate seeds were more vibrant than my frozen ones.  All in all, I was quite pleased with this recipe!  It certainly wasn't something I'd have come up with on my own!