French green lentils are really your best bet for this soup. They’re smaller and darker than your standard run-or-the mill lentil and they hold their shape really nicely so you don’t end up with a mushy pot of what was once lentils.
Slightly Adapted from: Bon Appetit via Molly Wizenburg
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons curry powder
1 cup french lentils
4 1/2 cups water, divided (or more)
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter (1/4 stick)
salt and pepper, for seasoning
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and season with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally and cook about five minutes until onion is translucent. Add half of the chopped garlic; stir until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 4 minutes longer.
Add curry powder and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add lentils and 4 cups water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Increase heat and bring to a slow boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until lentils are tender, about 30-40 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, puree chickpeas, lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining garlic in processor. Add chickpea puree and butter to soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add water by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency. Soup can be made up to one day ahead.