Lentil Soup

I think it’s challenging to find a more comforting, hearty, soul-warming, healthy, and simple wintertime dinner than lentil soup.Like most things I cook, lentil soup can take on whatever flavors you want, and you can pretty much put anything that grows in the ground into your soup. I made this when I had a yucky cold a few weeks ago, so I wanted to load it up with sinus-clearing and nutritious things. I made it up as I went along, but this is definitely a lentil soup recipe worth repeating. So give it a try!

Ingredients (for 2-3 servings, depending on how much soup you want)

the obvious: 1 cup lentils, 8 cups water, some olive oil
the flavor givers: 1 medium onion, 4(+) cloves of garlic, a thumb-sized knob of ginger, 1 jalapeno pepper, bay leaves, cilantro
the veggies: carrots, tomato, whatever else you want
the spices: salt, pepper, thyme, red pepper flakes, all to taste.

Start off by chopping up your flavor-givers, I recommend using a glove (or plastic baggy or SOMETHING) on the hand that you’re using to touch the jalapeno. Once, I cut up a jalapeno and then put contacts in…not the best.heat some olive oil in a pot, and then toss in these flavor-givers.then chop up your tomato & carrots (try to keep everything about the same size), and add them, too. When the onions are looking shiny and translucent, add in the lentils. Mix this around for a few moments, and then add the water. If you’d like to use broth, that’s fine, but I generally find that as long as there are plenty of interesting & flavorful things in soup, it’s fine (and delicious) to use water instead of broth. Add bay leaves, if you want, put the lid on your pot, and bring the soup-to-be to a boil. Once it boils, turn the heat down, put the lid back on, and let it simmer for at least 45 minutes, stirring every once in a while. Lentil soup tastes the best if it has a lot of time for the flavors to all mingle — left overs are usually better than the original. After 45 minutes, the lentils will be cooked, though. The main reason that I used cilantro in this soup is because I still had it in my fridge (left over from Emily’s shrimp, and my turkey burger). I tend to pull cilantro off the stems & wash it with The Claw method, as is demonstrated here: 

After you take the soup off the heat, add the chopped up cilantro.

Then mix it about, taste the soup, and see what spices you want to add. I threw in salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and eventually, some thyme, too. And I was quite pleased. Enjoy!

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5 Comments to “Lentil Soup”

  1. Love this! Looks delicious. Have you ever cooked/used quinoa? You might like it. It is very easy and versatile and takes on the flavors of whatever you are cooking. It’s also an amazing super food. If you are interested, you can read more about it here:

    http://rischmoller.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/quinoa-the-incan-superfood/

  2. Hey Sarah,

    Saw your Lentil Soup recipe last week, had mostly all the ingredients on hand, so was inspired to make a batch. Yum! I LOVE both cilantro and ginger, and anything with lentils works for me. Thanks! I need to try the Cilantro Turkey Burger next…

    Have you ever tried roasted red pepper spread, aka ajvar? A Croatian friend turned us on to it and I’m currently adding it to mostly everything, including the lentil soup. It comes hot and mild, is a bit pricy at $6 a jar, but a little goes a long way. I’m guessing you could duplicate it w/a jar of roasted red peppers and a few other ingredients. It’s REALLY good in an omelette or on scrambled eggs!

  3. All sounds great!!!! I just bought a bunch of fresh veggies for stir fry but now I am thinking soup. Thanks

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