Adapted from A Cedar Spoon
I love lentil soup. Always have. And it’s precisely soups like these that have made the transition to vegan less daunting. Turns out, most of the soups I’ve made and loved throughout my twenties have been vegan – I just didn’t know it! Red lentils were a mystery, though. I had never seen them in a regular supermarket. The other day, though, I was walking through the health food store and noticed them in the bulk bin section. They were only $1 per cup, and I usually use 2 cups for a hefty amount of soup, so it was a great deal.
(Note: I like my lentil soup semi-pureed. That is, after it’s done, I give it a few pulses with my immersion blender, so that part of it is thick and creamy and part of it retains whole lentils. You don’t have to puree the soup at all, but if you want to and don’t have an immersion blender, just scoop out a few ladlefuls and give them a whiz in a regular blender before pouring them back in.)
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. paprika
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- sprinkle of pepper
- 1 large bay leaf or 2 small
- 8 cups vegetable broth, low sodium if possible
- 1-15oz can crushed or diced tomatoes
- 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
- ½ lemon, juiced (for the end)
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (for the end)
- 3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped (for the end)
- 1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped (for the end)
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and sautee onions and carrots for a few minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring so nothing burns!
- Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, lentils, and bay leaf. Bring the soup to a boil.
- Simmer uncovered on low to medium heat (depends on your stove) for about 45 minutes or an hour. Check on it and stir occasionally.
- Remove the bay leaf and blend part of the soup (optional).
- Stir in the lemon juice, red pepper flakes, parsley and cilantro. Cover and let simmer on low for a few minutes.