Sometimes you find a dish that’s just so delicious you can’t believe it’s made from something as ordinary as lentils. At my house, vegetarian lentil soup is a huge favorite, and since it’s one of those soups that’s great on Monday and just gets better and better by lunch time Thursday, I’m making plenty of it. It’s also really easy and cheap so what’s not to love about that. Best of all you can do something else while it cooks.
There are countless recipes for lentil soup, but this is my version and I encourage you to use whatever combination of ingredients suits your tastes.
Really Easy Vegetarian Lentil Soup
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 2 carrots, rough chopped
- 2 celery stalks, rough chopped
- 2 cups fresh kale (any kind), rough chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 red pepper (jalapeno, anaheim), rough chopped
- 2 cups dried lentils, sorted and rinsed
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves (mine are small, so I use two)
- 4-6 cups vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper
Sometimes you just get tired of chopping vegetables, so I really like this dish because I get to use my food processor.
- Put the onion, carrots, celery, kale and red pepper into the food processor and pulse several times until you have a small chop mixture.
- Spray the bottom of a soup pot or dutch oven, and bring to a medium heat. Add the vegetable mixture and sweat until the fragrance is unbearable.
3. Add the broth, lentils, herbs and salt and pepper.
4. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, put the top on and wait. Let everything simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour, checking now and then to make sure it doesn’t boil dry.
The great thing about lentils is that they don’t get mushy (unless you mush them). You can blend for a smooth soup, but I like the homey, rustic texture of the lentils. Serve in bowls with a big chunk of fresh bread, or a dollop of sour cream.
Helpful Hint: You can make extra of the veggie mixture. Put some in a zip lock and stick in the freezer for another soup day.