Red & Green Lentil Soup
December 20, 2014 § Leave a comment
First things first, I only just realized how seasonally appropriate this soup is, beyond the fact that it’s a healthy soup as we creep up on New Years resolutions, because it has red and green lentils. It’s fate!
Second of all, I have a pre-vacation soup routine, and I think you should have one too. What’s a pre-vacation soup routine, you might ask? Well, when I’m going to be out of town and coming back late before a week of work, I like to do my future self a favor and stow some soup in the freezer for my return. Then, when I get home late on a Sunday (why do I never learn that this is a recipe for grouchiness?) I at least have something good to eat for lunch the next day.
Soups that allow you to clean out your fridge make especially convenient pre-vacation soups. When the soup had about 30 minutes left to go, I tossed in some shredded cabbage I had rolling around in my crisper. You could add other greens at the end, like kale or spinach. If you have some root vegetables to use up, toss those in at the beginning with the carrots, celery, and onion. This soup is infinitely adaptable. It also practically makes itself while you pack. You throw everything in the pot at once, cook for two hours, and then voila, it’s done!
My mom came up with the genius idea to do a mixture of red and green lentils. The original recipe calls for all green lentils, but the red lentils really take this soup up a notch. They start to melt and fall apart, and give the soup a really wonderful creamy texture. Somehow the simple seasonings in this recipe create an incredibly flavorful soup. You could always add some cumin or curry powder, but try it as is first. I think you’ll find it just perfect.
Red & Green Lentil Soup
Note: To freeze the soup, I transfer it to freezer bags, and lay the freezer bags flat in the freezer so the soup freezes in a space efficient way. When I’m ready to eat it I let it defrost in the fridge or run the bag under running water in the sink.
- 1/2 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 1/2 cup green lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can tomatoes and their juices (I bet the fire-roasted kind would be delicious too)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4-6 cups chicken or vegetable stock, or water
- Add all the ingredients through the pepper and 4 cups of the broth or water to a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. If the soup gets too thick, add some of the remaining water or stock.
- Turn off the heat and remove the bay leaf. Puree the soup with an immersion blender until it is thick but you can still see some lentils and vegetables. Alternatively, transfer half the soup to a blender and puree, then add back to the soup pot.
- Taste for seasoning, add additional salt and pepper if needed, and stow away in the freezer for your future self, or serve while it’s hot.