Super Lentil Soups

Winter is a great time to cook soups – and last week’s record-breaking cold snap (23 below with wind chill in Cincy) made us even more hungry for a good, hot soup. I cooked up this yummy Vegan Lentil Soup to bring to a good friend who had recently given birth to twins. She had actually made it for us when my father passed away last winter and we loved it.

Vegan Lentil Soup
Vegan Lentil Soup

I exchanged the kale (which can sometimes taste bitter) for spinach to give this new mom some extra needed nutrients like carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron and calcium. It is super easy to make and the ingredients are flavorful, filling and very inexpensive. My husband and I gave this 5 stars!

Vegan Lentil Soup

Author: Cookie & Kate

Prep Time: 10 mins. Cook Time: 45 mins (55 min. total). Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (can be substituted with veg broth)
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed and minced (or 2 tsp. minced garlic)
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 large 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt, more to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh kale, collard greens, or spinach (stems or ribs removed)
  • Juice of 1/2 to 1 medium lemon (to taste) – about 2 Tbsp.

Instructions

  1. Warm the olive oil (or veg. broth) in a large Dutch or pot over medium heat. One-fourth cup olive oil may seem like a lot, but it adds a heartiness to this nutritious soup. If you are cooking oil free, you can substitute the oil with 1/4 cup of vegetable broth.
  2. Once the oil (or broth) is shimmering, add the chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly (about 30 seconds). Pour in the diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.
  3. Pour in the lentils, broth and water. Add 1 tsp. salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly group black pepper. Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
  4. Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Protect your hand from steam with a tea towel placed over the lid and puree the soup until smooth. Pour the pureed soup back into the pot and add the chopped greens. Cook for 5 more minutes or until the greens have soften to your liking.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in lemon juice (about 3 tbsp). Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors are too your liking. Serve immediately. I like to serve this soup with warm vegan cornbread muffins. Leftovers keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator (or can be frozen for several months).

Recipe from Cookie and Kate: https://cookieandkate.com/2019/best-lentil-soup-recipe/

Let me know how you like the soup – or if you tried any variations that worked well.

Moroccan Lentil Soup

Moroccan Lentil Soup
Moroccan Lentil Soup

Here is another easy to make soup from Forks Over Knives that is very close to the previous recipe – but uses no oil, no greens and includes more exotic Moroccan spices. We gave rated this 4 and half stars.

Moroccan Lentil Soup

By Somer McCowan of “The Abundance Diet” Makes 6 servings. Total Prep/Cooking Time: 45 min.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups vegetable broth (I try to find a low-sodium broth with 500 mg or less)
  • 2 cups chopped onions, cut into 1/4 inch dice
  • 2 medium carrots, chided into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (or 1 tsp. minced)
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 heaped tsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 large (28 oz.) can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups slip dry red or brown lentils (I used the Lentil Trio from Aldi)
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro (opt).
  • Juice of 1 large lemon (about 2 Tbsp)
  • 1 tsp. seat salt or to taste
  • 1/3 tsp. ground black pepper or to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic and sauce, adding additional broth as necessary to keep the vegetables from burning. Cook until the onions are softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, cinnamon, and ground ginger. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes to allow the flavors to bloom. Add the remaining vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, and lentils and bring to ta boil.
  3. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes or until the lentils are fully cooked.
  4. Add the parsley, cilantro, and lemon juice and stir to combine. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.

Notes: For texture variation, pulse the soup a few times with an immersion blender. For extra brightness, squeeze an additional slice of lemon over each bowl.

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