The aromatic spices of this hearty spiced soup will tempt even the most jaded chemo palate. The tomato paste and hint of lemon deepen and brighten the flavors, plus it is super easy to... make. The lentils do not need soaking and cook quickly into a soft mash — perfect for a filling winter soup like this one.
In a stockpot, heat the olive over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and bay leaf. Cook for 8 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the tomato paste, chopped tomato, and salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the tomatoes have turned orangey. Add the lentils, cilantro sprigs, and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are very soft. Add more water if the soup is too thick.
Remove the cilantro sprigs, stir in vinegar or lemon juice. Cook for an additional 1 minute, then serve.
This soup can be made with brown or split orange lentils, too. The orange lentils will give the soup a brighter color and take even less time to cook.
For added flavor, use broth instead of water. If using canned or boxed broth, it can be salty, so take care to adjust the salt at the end of cooking.