Taste: Red Lentil Soup from Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia

Hearty meets healthy in this nutritious vitamin-packed soup.

Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia

Hearty, meet healthy! Simple spa dishes can be satisfying without bulking up or weighing down guests. Take the richly nutritious Red Lentil Soup served at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia in Arizona, home to the hammam-inspired Joya Spa.

The soup is a hit both in and outside the resort’s kitchen: it’s a perennially popular menu item, and executive chef Michael Cairns raves about the lentils’ “nutty, earthy flavor” and about the dish being “so quick and easy to prepare.”

Members of the pulse family, red and green lentils are calorically lean yet robustly nutritious—high in fiber, iron and protein, and packed with B vitamins that support cardiovascular health and an efficient metabolism.

Cairns cites the dish as a favorite among guests of varying dietary needs, including vegetarians, vegans and those with a sensitivity to gluten, although it can be bolstered with chicken, pork or beef to create a meat-eater’s entrée. Chef’s choice? “I love to serve it with an over-easy egg on top,” says Cairns. He also suggests finishing the soup with a sprinkling of crushed red pepper for extra heat and a dollop of Greek yogurt for a creamy, cool contrast.
Whether it’s prepared spicy or mild, for veggie-lovers or omnivores, a steaming bowl of the soup matched with a crisp salad and warm, fresh bread for dipping is sure to whet any appetite.

Red Lentil Soup

Serves 4

4 cups dried organic red lentils
2 yellow onions, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 bay leaves
4 Tbsp. ground cumin
5 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 pinch ground white pepper
16-oz can whole tomatoes
4 qts. water or vegetable stock
1/8 cup olive oil
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions; gently cook until translucent.
Add bay leaves, salt, 3 Tbsp. cumin and white pepper. Purée tomatoes and add to pot, stirring frequently. Add lentils. Combine thoroughly and add water or vegetable stock. Cook for 30 minutes or until lentils are just tender. In a separate bowl, mix yogurt with the remaining 1 Tbsp. cumin. Divide soup into bowls and top with yogurt-cumin mixture and a sprinkling of crushed red pepper (optional)