I have had the longest summer in my life this year from March till now, 3 months back in Yangon and 5 months here in Houston. So, a big temperature drop last night got me pulling out comfy sweaters and homey soup recipes to finally savor the cool, crisp atmosphere of fall outside. I did some major slurping on this good old Burmese lentil soup, a chunky vegan soup with an added bonus of chew from bean thread noodles.
Crispy curry leaves and garlic chips are much more than garnishes here; they instill great warmth, essence and character to the soup through a method of tempering, which is a final flavoring magic at the end of cooking.
In the color department, turmeric and paprika together tinted the soup with vivid autumn tones.
Serving: 3-4 persons
Cook Time: 50 minutes
- 1 cup of red lentils
- 3 cloves of garlic (peeled)
- 1/2 inch of ginger
- 1 tbsp. of salt
- 4 cups of water
- 50 g of dried bean thread noodles
- 3 tbsp. of oil
- 2 stems of fresh or dried curry leaves (15-20 leaves)
- 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp. of turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp. of paprika
1. Boiling the lentils
- Rinse the lentils well.
- Add the lentils, 3 cloves of peeled garlic, ginger and 4 cups of water to a pot.
- Bring it to a boil and spoon off the scums that rise on top.
- Reduce the heat to low-medium for a gentle simmer for 30 minutes till lentils are tender but still holding some shape.
- Season with salt.
2. Preparing the bean thread noodles
- Soak the noodles in lukewarm water for 10 minutes until they are pliable.
- Cut them into 6-inch lengths.
- When the lentils are soft, add the bean thread noodles and continue simmering for another 15 minutes till well-cooked.
3. Tempering spices
- Heat 3 tbsp. of oil in a skillet and fry the garlic slices till golden.
- Add the curry leaves and fry till crispy and fragrant
- Add the turmeric powder and paprika.
- Remove the garlic chips and curry leaves from the oil.
- Add the flavored oil to the simmering pot of lentil soup, stir well and bring it back to a boil for a minute.
- Serve hot with crispy curry leaves and garlic chips as garnishes on top.
Burmese language lesson
- Pe-Ni-Lay Kyar-Zan Hin-Cho
- Pe-Ni-Lay –> Red Lentils
- Kyar-Zan -> Vermicelli Noodles
- Hin-cho -> Sweet Soup