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#CookClub Recipe No. 2: Red Lentil Chicken Soup

This week's #CookClub recipe is Red Lentil Chicken Soup.

It's a hearty entree we hope will bring a hint of fall that much sooner. Red lentils can be found in most markets, but you can substitute any type you'd like. And they aren't really red at all, more salmon-colored. As they cook, the vibrant color mellows considerably.

With its combination of cumin, cinnamon and allspice, the soup has a Moroccan or Middle Eastern flair. An inventive cook might leave out the allspice or substitute cloves. The cumin, a spice used in Indian cooking and chili, and cinnamon are essential.

If you're participating in our new online #Cookclub, the key is to remember #Cookclub because that's how you'll want to tag everything. You'll have two weekends to make the recipe and post a photo on Instagram with your comments. Photos and comments for the Red Lentil Chicken Soup are due by 6 p.m. Oct. 6. Some of the photos and comments will be printed in the Tampa Bay Times food section on Oct. 9.

As part of the #Cookclub conversation, join us from 7 to 8 p.m. every Thursday for a #Cookclub Twitter chat starting Sept. 26. We will discuss the week's recipe and other topics of culinary importance. Stuff like: "Q1: What's a good melting cheese for queso dip?" and "Q2: Would you spend $8 on a vanilla bean?" Occasionally, we'll have a guest cookbook author or local chef.

Quiche Lorraine, #Cookclub's first recipe, was a hit with the group's participants. It was fun to see from the photos how the results varied. The vegetarian left out the bacon and bravely baked the quiche in a cast-iron skillet. (Not usually recommended because of sticking issues.) A tinkerer subbed fresh parsley for chives and another left out the crust altogether. One #Cookclub member wondered if her dish was too deep since her effort seemed flat. Still, everyone proclaimed the recipe a success.

That's the beauty of a community of cooks making one recipe. We all get to see how our different techniques and tastes can still result in a delicious dish.

Today, I share my photo of Red Lentil Chicken Soup with you, and am eager to see yours. Welcome to #Cookclub.

Questions? Direct them to @roadeats on Twitter and tag them #Cookclub or to,


Red Lentil Chicken Soup

Deadline for photos and comments on Instagram is 6 p.m. Oct. 6. Tag them #Cookclub.

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 large onions, chopped

2 celery ribs, sliced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 (32-ounce) containers reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 1/3 cup red lentils (see note)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Toss the chicken in a medium bowl with the cumin, cinnamon and allspice until coated. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and heat the olive oil. Saute the chicken for 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the onions and celery and cook for 3 minutes or until slightly softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.

Pour in the chicken broth and stir in the tomatoes, lentils, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and the soup is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cilantro before serving.

Serves 8.

Note: Red lentils are really more salmon-colored and can be found in most markets. You can substitute any type of lentils you'd like.

Source: Chicken and Egg by Janice Cole (Chronicle Books, 2011)

#CookClub Recipe No. 2: Red Lentil Chicken Soup 09/23/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 6:52pm]
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