Rainy Day Lentil Soup

Greetings! Today I am happy to present my recipe for a very rich and hearty and delicious lentil soup.

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It is cold outside; windy and wet, the days are dark, and I do have a tiny cute baby that keeps me busy around the clock. Yet I insist on cooking freshly every evening and soup is a wonderful solution – a short time of a prep work and then just throwing in all in a big pot and letting it cook for an hour or so.

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As most stewy dishes, this soup is even better the next day so I always make a double portion which is against my eating rule #7 of not eating the same thing two days in a row… therefore I am always trying to avoid leftovers – but that’s not the case here (or in Chili!)

Ingredients for 4-5 portions:

  • A few slices of chili
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2-3 ripe tomatoes
  • 3-4 celery stalks
  • ½ celery root (Wiki taught me that it is also called celeriac or turnip rooted celery)
  • 1 leek, only the white part
  • A few parsley leaves
  • 1 ½ cups of lentils – I used green and orange

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Spices mix:

Please note that this section is kind of up to you. I find the cumin and salt to be a must but the rest is pretty much a matter of a taste and of what you have in your spices cabinet!

Mix between 1 tsp to 1 tbsp pf the following:

  • Black salt – just because I have some, any salt will do
  • Sweet paprika
  • Smoked paprika
  • Cumin – the must!
  • Ground cilantro
  • Turmeric
  • Curry

    For an Indian kick – more curry

    For a Moroccan kick – Ras El Hanout

    Also an upgrade: more smoked paprika / balsamic cream

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    Directions:

    • Sauté the chili, garlic and onion in a bit of olive oil – low heat
    • Add the rest of the veggies: carrots, tomatoes, celery stalks, celery root, leek – stir well and sauté on medium heat for 2-3 minutes
    • Cover the veggies in water (1- 1.5 liters usually) stir well
    • Wash the lentils mix very well (under running water for 2-3 minutes) and add to the pot – stir well
    • Add the spice – stir
    • Bring to boiling
    • Taste and balance flavors – lentils are salt eaters, add a bit more salt, cumin etc.
    • Lower the heat and let cook for at least an hour
    • IMPORTANT: from time to time, stir and make sure that there is enough water that covers the soup  – unless you want a stew and then let the water evaporate.
    • Serve with fresh parsley, a few drops of Sriracha, homemade croutons (see below) and even a spoonful of plain soy yogurt.

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    Homemade Curry Croutons:

    • Cut thick bread/rolls/buns to cubes
    • Put in a plastic bag
    • Add olive oil, salt, pepper, curry, and optional: paprika, turmeric, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder
    • Close the bag and shake shake shake till the bread cubes are all covered with the mix
    • Bake on a baking paper for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown [200c / 400f]
    • Try not to munch on them before serving the soup!
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