Make us your home page

#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]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Spaceballs 2 could really happen, Mel Brooks says


    When Mel Brooks talks about a sequel to Spaceballs, ‘80s fans are tempted to politely smile and nod our heads. It’s a joke, we figure, because how can you possibly recapture the magic of the 1987 Star Wars spoof, especially since John Candy has passed away. 

  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 23


    Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons: The original Jersey boy himself has produced hits like Sherry, Walk Like A Man, Rag Doll, December '63 and Grease during his long-lasting career both solo and with the Four Seasons. 7:30 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, …

    Saint PAUL, MN - JULY 25: Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons perform at the 2010 Starkey Hearing Foundation 10th Annual "So the World May Hear" Gala at Saint Paul RiverCentre on July 25, 2010 in Saint Paul, Minnesota.   (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images for Starkey Hearing Foundation) *** Local Caption *** Frankie Valli
  3. Painted with suspense


    TAMPA — Sometimes a show comes along that does everything. It engages the senses on every level, tells a story that feels real and keeps you guessing to the end.

    Ned Averill-Snell, left, plays Latham and Landon Green is Stumpy, two working class painters working to convert a loft for a well-off couple.
  4. Review: ABC's 'Dirty Dancing' remake should be left in a corner


    It seems as if nothing is sacred anymore.

    Abigail Breslin and Colt Prattes perform the iconic lift in the Dirty Dancing remake on ABC.
  5. Restaurant review: Tampa wine bar Cru Cellars also a worthy spot to indulge in sophisticated plates

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA -- One of the joys of writing about businesses in a particular market over a long period of time is watching some of them find their footing, mature and blossom. Cru Cellars has seriously come into its own.

    Citrus Panzanella, with blood orange, grapefruit, orange, fennel and crouton, at Cru Cellars in Tampa.