This Lentil Soup is a vegetarian soup that I’ve made for several years now. On those rainy damp days when I want something warm, light but yet filling, this is my go-to. It’s a wonderful fresh, hearty soup made with lots of fresh earthy vegetables and any of the colorful lentils you have in your pantry.
Lentils have the second highest ratio of protein per calorie of any legume, after soybeans. They come in a variety of colors from red to yellows, green, brown and even black. That makes this vegetarian soup full of protein too! I buy them dried and they’re quite small and are a unique flat shape. I love cooking with them because they cook without soaking in about 30 minutes! That’s what makes this soup such a cinch to make.
Here’s how I make it.
Let’s do a little prep work with the vegetables. While there’s no real hard core measurements, I typically use one nice size carrot and parsnip, 2-3 new potatoes, small onion and one leek.
Cut the carrot, parsnip, new potatoes and onion into about 1/2 inch pieces and rinse the lentils. Set aside.
Leeks are a bit unique and add a wonderful depth of mild onion-y flavor. First cut off the dark green leaves at the top and the roots at the bottom, discard. What you’ll have left is mostly white to light green. Cut the leek in half lengthwise, then chop into 1/4 inch slices.
Drop the leeks into a large bowl with lots of water and wash the sand out from between the layers. You’ll notice that the leeks float to the top which allows the sand to fall to the bottom. How cool is that? Carefully lift the clean leek out of the water and drain on a paper towel.
In a 4 quart pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped carrot, parsnip, potatoes, onion and leek. Saute’ until the vegetables are just starting to get tender, stirring occasionally. About 5-8 minutes.
Then add the rinsed lentils, crushed tomatoes, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, red wine, bay leaf and vegetable broth or stock. I personally think vegetable stock adds more flavor than broth, so I tend to go that route.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat, cover and reduce the heat to medium low or low, so there’s still a low boil going on.
Simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Remove the bay leaf before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Dish out a nice helping into a bowl and serve with your favorite bread. I love a nice crusty Italian bread, focaccia or even good ole’ Southern cornbread!
I love to add some fresh chopped parsley on top. I believe parsley is so underrated. Contrary to what some folks say, it really does add a nice fresh flavor to any dish! Yep, it’s in my garden! Just planted it this week!
Here’s the printer friendly recipe.