I’m sure I’ve probably posted a Lentil Soup recipe a time or two on here, but not this one. And, in my world at least, lentils are totally worth repeating! I’ve always felt like lentils got a bum rap in American foods…until recently, no one was really willing to embrace the magic that is a lentil, unless you were a vegetarian (said in a voice akin to saying “that damn hippy” by an 75-year-old disgruntled ex-Marine) **caveat: I can say this because my father is, decidedly, a 75-year-old ex-Marine, who is highly disgruntled**
Anyways, as I’m sure it’s obvious, I love lentils. They’re earthy, and filling, and vegetarian/vegan, and basically all things good for you. So, I do my best to use them when I can. Lentil tacos (may be a good post for next week?), lentil sloppy joes, lentil soup…hell, I’ve even been known to scramble lentils into eggs. Yes…that is how I roll. So, lentil soup really shouldn’t be a surprise. And with that, here it is!
I basically took this recipe from Dinner was Delicious, and then tweaked accordingly. One thing I’ve noticed about soups is that, even though the serving size says 6-8 servings, it’s usually enough for J and I to eat for two meals a day, for an entire week. So, with that said, for pretty much every single soup recipe I try, I cut it in half. Which is what I did with this recipe. Except the onion, because who doesn’t love onion? Not me, my friends, not me. And, instead of celery (because we didn’t have any) I put in a leek (because we had a leek, and I’m all about using what I got). Everything else was pretty on par! Oh! Except a red pepper…I added one of those too (because I had it on hand and it was starting to look a little sad, if you know what I mean).
Overall, the recipe was ridiculously easy. For those of you, like me, who enjoy cutting up veg, this is a fun one! I love prep-work for meals…the cutting, the dicing, the cleaning and skinning…I love it all. It’s my favorite part of cooking, if I’m being honest. So, because of that, I had a ton of fun with this recipe. If you don’t like doing all that, the vast majority of these ingredients you can already buy pre-diced from your grocery, so just do that. It’s more expensive, but if you hate the prep-work, why torture yourself?? Cooking should never be a burden, it’s supposed to be fun!
So…basically, cut it all up, sauté it, and then add your stock and lentils. Let simmer for a half hour or so, then eat it. Honestly, what could be easier! Plus, you control your sodium, the quality of the ingredients, and you can tell everyone you slaved away at it all day (because it really does taste like you did). I imagine you could do this in a crock pot as well, but the lentils might get a bit mushy if you put them in there for the full eight hours. I don’t really use a crock-pot a whole lot (I’m too terrified of leaving it alone while we’re at work because I’m afraid either a) the house will burn down, or b) the cats will knock off the lid and feast for hours without me to stop them), but it’s always worth a try! Plus, you really get the “cooked all day” flavor from crock-pots, which is one of the reason why they’re so widely used (as well as for their convenience), so I would say go for it!
So, once you’re finished with everything, and your soup has simmered for however long you let it go (I don’t really watch the clock for soups…it’s ready when I want to eat it), you’re left with a really nice, thick, soup! The lentils expand and thicken it up a bit, and the vegetables break down a bit to give the vegetable broth more flavor. And, of course, even though I halved the recipe, I was still left with enough for 4-5 meals, so I’m sure J and I will feast on this for at least part of the week. But, it was definitely delicious, and I’ll make it again!
We’re nearly out of soup season…so I’m looking for some cold soup ideas for spring! I love to hear reader feedback on recipes you’d like me to try, so please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll try to make them!