In advance: pour distilled vinegar into a bowl with the green chili rings and let sit for at least 1 hour prior to serving soup.
To prepare soup, wash red lentils in warm water, 2 or 3 times over. Then fill large pot with 5 to 6 cups water. Cook lentils over medium flame until they lose their form, and a soup-like base is formed. Add fresh chopped cilantro, salt and pepper to soup, set soup aside.
Next, prepare the rest of the add-ins. Grate Idaho potatoes and deep fry to golden brown in hot oil. Place on paper towels to absorb excess oil, then put into a bowl. Saute onions in pan with 1/3 cup vegetable oil until golden-dark brown and caramelized, then place in a bowl. Saute cubed bread in a mixture of 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup butter until golden brown, put in a bowl. Roughly chop cilantro, put into a bowl.
To serve, place soup and add-ins on the table. Guests place 2 or 3 ladles of soup into their soup bowl, then, in middle of soup bowl, pile high with desired add-ins; do not spread out garnish.
A viewer or guest of the show, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Katen Joshi