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Lentil Soup Recipe: Cozy, Flavorful, and Easy to Make

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Scrumptious homemade Lentil Soup

Lentil soup is a hearty, delicious, and budget-friendly meal that you can whip up with simple ingredients. This recipe combines lentils with aromatic vegetables and a blend of spices to give you a comforting bowl of soup. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cook, you’ll find this recipe easy to follow and incredibly satisfying.

Lentils are packed with protein, fiber, and essential minerals, making this soup not only tasty but also nutritious. With the right mix of vegetables like carrots, celery, and onion, plus some garlic for a deeper flavor, you can create a soup that’s rich and flavorful. Add a squeeze of lemon at the end to brighten up the taste, and you’ve got a winning dish.

What’s great about this lentil soup is its versatility. You can customize it with different vegetables or even spin it with some spinach and tomatoes for extra texture and flavor. Plus, it freezes well, so it’s perfect for meal prep. Dive into the full recipe and discover how easy it is to make this comforting dish.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Making a great lentil soup starts with the right ingredients. Here’s a simple list:

Main Ingredients:

  • Lentils: 1 1/2 cups, rinsed
    • Substitute: Any other type of lentils, but they may change cooking times
  • Vegetable Stock: 4 cups
    • Substitute: Chicken stock, bone broth, or water
  • Olive Oil: 3 tablespoons
    • Substitute: Any vegetable oil
  • Onion: 1 small, finely chopped
    • Substitute: Shallots or leeks
  • Celery: 2 ribs, finely chopped
  • Carrot: 1 large, finely chopped or grated
  • Garlic: 3 – 4 cloves, finely chopped

Seasonings:

  • Salt: 1 teaspoon
    • Substitute: Sea salt or kosher salt
  • Ground Cumin: 1 teaspoon
  • Red Pepper Flakes: A pinch
  • Black Pepper: Freshly ground, to taste

Additional Ingredients:

  • Tomato Paste: 1 tablespoon
  • Bay Leaf: 1 whole

Optional Add-Ins for Flavor:

  • Lemon: For a fresh squeeze at the end
  • Fresh Herbs: Parsley or cilantro as garnish

With these ingredients, you’re all set to make a delicious lentil soup. Feel free to make substitutions based on what’s in your pantry. Happy cooking!

Instructions

  1. Prep the Veggies

    • Dice 2 medium carrots and 1 medium yellow onion.
    • Mince 4 cloves of garlic.
    • Chop 2 celery stalks.
  2. Heat the Oil

    • Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large pot. Heat on medium.
  3. Cook the Veggies

    • Add diced onion and minced garlic. Cook for 2 minutes.
    • Add carrots and celery. Continue cooking for 7-10 minutes until softened.
  4. Add Seasonings

    • Stir in 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon basil, and a bay leaf.
  5. Add Lentils and Liquids

    • Add 2 cups dried lentils. Rinse them first.
    • Pour in 8 cups of water or vegetable broth.
    • Stir in a can of diced tomatoes.
  6. Simmer and Cook

    • Bring to a boil.
    • Reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 25-30 minutes.
    • Stir occasionally, checking the tenderness of the lentils.
  7. Blend (Optional)

    • For a thicker texture, transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Blend until smooth. Return to pot.
    • Alternatively, use an immersion blender to blend a portion of the soup right in the pot.
  8. Season

    • Add salt and pepper to taste.
    • Stir in 1 tablespoon of vinegar if you like a tangy flavor.

Your lentil soup is now ready to serve! Enjoy your hearty, nutritious meal.

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Chop Evenly: When chopping vegetables like carrots, celery, and onions, try to make the pieces as uniform as possible. This ensures even cooking.

Cook the Aromatics: Take the extra time to sauté your garlic, onions, and other aromatics until they’re soft. This step boosts the flavor of your soup.

Season Gradually: Salt and pepper should be added in small amounts during cooking and adjusted at the end. This allows you to control the final taste more precisely.

Add Greens Last: If your recipe includes spinach or kale, stir them in near the end of the cooking time. This keeps them from getting too wilted and losing their vibrant color.

Choose the Right Lentils:

  • Brown Lentils: Hold their shape well and have a mild flavor.
  • Green Lentils: Firmer texture, takes longer to cook.
  • Red Lentils: Cook quickly but tend to become mushy.

Storing:

  • Refrigerate: Place any leftover soup in airtight containers. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze: For longer storage, freeze the soup. Leave some space at the top of the container for expansion. Lentil soup can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Reheat: When reheating, add a bit of water or broth to maintain the desired consistency. Reheat on low to avoid overcooking the lentils.

Flavor Boosts:

  • Lemon Juice: A splash of lemon juice added right before serving brightens the flavor.
  • Fresh Herbs: Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro for a fresh finish.
  • Spices: Experiment with different spice blends like curry powder or cumin to give the soup a unique twist.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

There are many ways to make lentil soup exciting and new. Here are some ideas you can try:

Variations:

  • Spicy Lentil Soup: Add a teaspoon of chili powder and a dash of cayenne pepper.
  • Mediterranean Lentil Soup: Include ingredients like diced tomatoes, olives, and oregano.
  • Smoky Lentil Soup: Use smoked paprika and add some cooked bacon or ham.

Serving Suggestions:

You can serve lentil soup with some delicious sides to make it a complete meal.

  • Crusty Bread: A slice of warm, crusty bread is perfect for dipping.
  • Fresh Salad: A light salad with a simple vinaigrette pairs well.
  • Grated Cheese: Sprinkle some Parmesan or feta cheese on top.

Feel free to mix and match these ideas to suit your taste! With these variations and serving tips, you’ll never get bored with lentil soup.

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.