Garam Masala Lentil Soup

A coworker shared this recipe and some of her garam masala spice blend with me last week and I was immediately anxious to try it out (thank you, Aloe!).  I have never been too adventurous in my use of herbs and spices so I was very curious to use garam masala, a blend of ground spices commonly used in Indian cuisine.  This blend typically includes black and white peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, and cardamom pods.  As these mixtures can vary, especially among commercial varieties, I'm not 100% sure what combination comprised the blend she shared with me.  I can say with certainty, however, that it was INCREDIBLY delicious and unlike any flavor I've ever tasted before! The recipe she shared with me is found here on the Chef MD website, but I simplified it just a bit since I didn't have the yogurt or cilantro on hand.

Ingredients: 2 teaspoons canola oil 1 large white onion, chopped 2 large carrots, thinly sliced (I used shredded carrots) 3/4 cup lentils (I used French lentils, but any variety will do I'm sure) 2 teaspoons garam masala 1 cup red wine 4 1/4 cups low sodium vegetable broth 3/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions: Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add canola oil, then the chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes until translucent, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the carrots, lentils, and garam masala; cook for 1 minute.  Stir in broth, wine, and salt; cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 18 to 20 minutes or until lentils and carrots are tender.

I served with a piece of toasted bread (my dad's freshly baked bread - YUM).

I want to find more recipes for different uses of garam masala - I'm so excited to have a new flavor to add to my cottage kitchen repertoire!