It’s still January. It’s still cold and gross outside. So I’m still eating soup every single day.
Sometimes I’m lazy though and all I can muster the energy to make is this lentil soup, which is in all seriousness one of the easiest recipes anywhere. And, because I almost always have the key ingredients (dried lentils, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and vegetable broth [or bouillon cubes in a pinch]) in my kitchen already, I am also saved a trip out into the ick for any groceries.
Easiest Lentil Soup
Yield: 6-8 servings
Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free (just check your broth!)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced (about 3/4 cup)
2 stalks celery, diced (about 3/4 cup)
4 cups water
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups dried brown or green lentils, rinsed
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. turmeric
Couple dashes cayenne (optional)
[Ingredients note: I included the cumin, thyme, turmeric, and cayenne because that is how I make the soup, but if you don’t have one or any of them, I just want you to know it’s okay! You can get away with using only salt and pepper as the seasoning for this soup, and it will still be delicious. ]
Line the bottom of a large stockpot with water and begin to warm it over medium-high heat. When the water begins to steam slightly, add garlic and onions and saute until onions soften, about 5 minutes.
Add carrots and celery and saute another 2-3 minutes, until softened. (If anything is sticking, add a few splashes of water or broth to unstick it.)
Add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, for as long as it takes your lentils to cook. This can take anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes. You will know they’re done when the lentils are very tender (but not mushy!) and much of the liquid has been absorbed.
Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve as is, with a side of crusty bread, or with Quick Homemade Croutons.
To Make: Take two slices of whole wheat (or gluten-free!) sandwich bread (preferably sort of stale, but this is not strictly necessary), brush each side lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and dried oregano, and toast in a toaster or 350 degree oven until crispy and browned. Cut into squares and use to garnish soup or salads.
This recipe for lentil soup has been given an enthusiastic omnivore seal of approval by H! He loves to take leftovers with him to have for lunch at work.
What is your go-to soup recipe?