One of my favorite chilly-weather meals is soup, and we have had some chilly weather the past few days…not super-cold, but just cold enough that a hot bowl of soup sounds really good! And one of my favorite kinds of soup is Lentil soup. I have two Lentil soup recipes I like to make, so I thought I’d share them both with you in this post. I’m not sure where I originally found these recipes, but my versions are thicker than the originals. One recipe actually calls for red lentils, but you can substitute brown lentils…that’s what I’ve done. For some reason, my grocery store does not carry red lentils! (Note: After I posted this recipe, I found out from a helpful reader that red lentils are available at Indian or Middle Eastern stores, and that when you cook them, they disintegrate into a thick broth or gravy–so your soup texture will be different if you use red lentils).
These soups are thick (especially the Red Lentil Soup recipe, if you substitute brown lentils in it), hearty, and filling, and have lots of healthy ingredients in them. I don’t really have a favorite between the two…I like them both. You can look over the recipes and see which one you think you’d like best!
LENTIL SOUP by NancyCreative (shown above)
Makes 4-6 servings
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes [or 1 (28-ounce) can]
- 1 (16-ounce) package dry lentils, rinsed
- 3 (14.5-ounce) cans chicken broth (about 6 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- shredded Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling on top (optional)
Place olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stock pot and heat a minute or two over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute until translucent and glossy. Add in carrots, celery, garlic, and salt; saute all ingredients for 10 minutes.
Add crushed tomatoes, lentils, chicken broth, cumin, and coriander, and stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover; cook at a low simmer until lentils are tender, about 40 to 50 minutes.
Serve in bowls and sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired.
RED LENTIL SOUP by NancyCreative (shown above)
Makes 4-6 servings)
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large yellow onions, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- dash of pepper
- 3 1/2 to 4 (14.5-ounce) cans chicken or vegetable broth (about 7 to 8 cups–for a thinner soup, use a cup or two more broth)
- 2 cups dry red lentils, rinsed (or substitute brown lentils, which is what I did)
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, or the juice of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or 1-2 Tablespoons dried cilantro
- Shredded cheddar cheese (or your favorite shredded cheese) for sprinking on top, optional
Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until hot. Add the onions and garlic and cook until golden, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, salt, and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the broth, lentils, and carrots; bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low to maintain simmer and cook until lentils are soft, about 30 to 40 minutes (Note: this makes a thick soup-if you want a thinner consistency, add a cup or two more broth). Stir in lemon juice and cilantro and mix well. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with shredded cheese if desired.
Do you like Lentil Soup as much as I do? What other kinds of soup do you like?