you will need:
- 1 3/4 cups lentils
- 8 cups water or chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium red onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro/coriander or parsley
- lemon wedges
heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. add onions and cook, stirring often, until they turn a very dark brown color, about 15-20 minutes. stir constantly during last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking to prevent burning. (it may be necessary to reduce heat to medium.)
when onions are well browned, add 1 cup simmering lentil water to the pan with the onions. stand back; the water will sizzle and steam. continue cooking, stirring every now and then, until the water has almost totally evaporated, about 3-5 minutes.
scrape onion mixture into the pot with the lentils. stir in the pepper. cover and simmer 10 more minutes. remove soup from heat, cool and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, then reheat before serving. (it needs to stand in order to thicken. The soup can be made a day or two ahead, refrigerated and reheated.)
to serve, reheat soup and ladle into bowls. stir 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice into each bowl and finish each with a sprinkle of cilantro or parsley. (Or stir all of lemon juice and herbs into pot of soup.) serve lemon wedges alongside.