I had purchased a butternut squash and was looking for a recipe to use it. This has been a cold winter – a good time for veggie-packed soups. I thought I would try this lentil and butternut soup recipe to add some color to our menu. It ended up making a lot (6+ servings) and is another way to get some protein (lentils) and nutrient-rich leafy greens (I like to use spinach). This recipe was taken from “One Dish Vegan” by Robin Robertson and is budget friendly. I made some minor adjustments – including adding the squash earlier. Preparation should take an hour total (about 15 minutes to peel and cut veggies and 45 minutes to cook). You could try putting all the ingredients into a crock pot and cooking on low for 3-4 hours. If you try it – let me know how it turns out. 🙂
1 Tbsp olive oil or 1/4 cup water
1 medium-size onion, minced
1 celery rib, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced (1 1/2 tsp)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
7 cups vegetable broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small (or med.) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced (about 3 cups) – use 5+ cups for 6+ servings.
4 cups coarsely chopped stemmed chard, kale, or other leafy greens (I like to use spinach)
1 tsp minced fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
Heat the oil or water in a large pot (or dutch oven) over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Stir in the tomato paste, then add the lentils, squash, tomatoes with their juices, marjoram, and broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 35 minutes (covered). Stir in the greens and thyme and simmer until the lentils and vegetables are tender (about 10 – 15 minutes). Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve hot.
As a vegan, it is sometime a challenge to know what dishes to bring to social gatherings. Recently our church had a special potluck lunch with the theme “Holy Smokes” – featuring BBQ meat dishes. I took up the challenge and decided to try a recipe I found in the Feb/March 2019 edition of Taste of Home Magazine. This would be a great meal for families with younger kids. It was simple to make, tastes great and it serves 14 (perfect for potlucks and family gatherings)!
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1/2 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
1 medium carrot, shredded
6 garlic cloves, minced (3 tsp.)
2 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed
5 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 can (8 0z) tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
4 1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
2 tsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. tomato paste
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
14 whole wheat hamburger buns, split and toasted.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, peppers and carrot; cook and stir until crisp-tender, 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
Add broth and lentils; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered until the lentils are tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, honey, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Serve on buns.
Note: I found that this mixture was too sloppy so you may want to reduce the vegetable broth some. It did thickened some in the fridge overnight.
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.
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.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (can be substituted with veg broth)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Let me know how you like the soup – or if you tried any variations that worked well.
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.
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
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.
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.
Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes or until the lentils are fully cooked.
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.