Vegetable Lentil Soup
Spending a week at my rental in Western MA, the first thing I did was make a big pot of yummy Vegetable Lentil Soup. Believe it or not I still had some root vegetable from my last few CSA distributions rolling around in the fridge’s produce draw and I wanted to use them. Soup, of course, came to mind as the perfect vehicle. I wanted to make a versatile soup that I could have on hand for quick meals during the week as well as freeze for when I came back during the winter months. Making a basic lentil soup that I could vary by adding a variety of vegetables or yogurt each time I heated up a portion made sense so I wouldn’t get tired of eating it. And, since getting protein at most meals is a challenge as a vegetarian making the lentil soup helped to satisfy that need as well.
So far I’ve been here for 5 days and eaten the soup at three meals. The first time for dinner the day I made the soup. The second time for breakfast the following day and I am so glad I had it in the fridge last night when I was rushing to get to an Insight Meditation community meditation and dharma talk. It was so easy to heat up and add some lemon juice and yogurt to give it a kick. And, it was warm and satisfying in my belly as I headed out for the pitch black drive on country roads to Northampton, MA.
I added kale, yogurt and lemon juice to the portion featured in this posting. While I love lentil soup I find it can be a bit bland. That’s why I always doctor it up. Some of the ingredients you might try adding to this basic vegetable lentil recipe to vary it are: spinach, kale or Swiss chard, especially yogurt and lemon juice, hot sauce, red wine, nutritional yeast, goat cheese or parmesan cheese. .
What are your favorite things to add to basic vegetable lentil soup to spice it up? If you make the soup, have a favorite lentil soup recipe you would like to share or added something special to this recipe, please feel free to post in the comment section.
- Knob of Coconut Oil
- 1 medium Onion diced
- 1 small Celeriac or 3 Celery stocks diced
- 3 medium Carrots diced
- 4 Cloves Garlic minced
- 1 quart Low-Sodium Vegetable Stock
- 15 oz. can or jar of Stewed Tomatoes chopped
- 1¼ Cups Beluga Lentil rinsed
- 2 tsp. Thyme
- 1 Bay Leaf
- ¼ tsp red pepper flacks or more to taste
- Kosher Salt, Pepper
- 1 tbsp. Sherry Vinegar
- In a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven heat the coconut oil till shimmering. Add the onion, celeriac and carrots and cook over a medium-low heat until softened about 10 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic cook until fragrant about a minute.
- Add chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock, lentils, thyme, bay leaf, red pepper flacks, salt and pepper. Stir and cover. Bring pot to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes. The lentils should be tender.
- Add the sherry vinegar.
- Adjust seasons to taste by adding salt and pepper if needed.
- Put about 1½ cups of the cooked lentil soup in a food processor and pulse until you have a creamy, chunky texture. Mix with the rest of the soup. Stir.
- Now that you have the basic soup you can add chopped spinach or kale and simmer until wilted and serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a squirt of lemon juice in each bowl to serve 8. Or, store in the fridge and ladle out single serving and perhaps freeze some portions.
- To individual servings experiment with adding different greens such as kale, spinach or Swiss chard and different toppings such as lemon juice, goat cheese, nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese.