In my efforts to put a meatless dinner on the table every week, I have been researching & trying out new forms of protein. I work with beans a lot because there are so many different varieties that they can be used in almost any cuisine. I also use mushrooms a lot because they give a dish a real meatiness that can be lacking in vegetarian foods. Another ingredient I have been really excited to work with lately is lentils. They are also very versatile and work with a lot of different cuisines. I’ve used the cooked lentils from Trader Joe’s in salads & wraps but I was curious about using lentils that have not been pre-cooked.
Enter, lentil soup. It’s something I grew up eating out of a can & ordered frequently when I saw it on restaurant menus. I was excited to try making lentil soup from scratch. When researching recipes to figure out exactly how to put the soup together I realized quickly this was going to be an easy dish. You basically sauté some veggies, throw in lentils, diced tomatoes & a few spices, then let the stove do all the work. Sounds good to me!
Start by gathering all of your ingredients & heating a large pot with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat.
Next you want to prep the lentils. Just rinse them under cold water & let them dry slightly while the oil heats up.
Once the oil it hot, cook onions, celery & carrots until they start to soften & onions become translucent, about 6-7 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.
Once veggies have cooked, throw in the lentils, diced tomatoes & spices. Stir to combine.
Next, add the broth & bring the whole mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer & cook, covered, for about 40 minutes, until lentils are tender.
I served my lentil soup with cheese toasts. To prepare the toasts, slice the baguette on a diagonal into a few pieces then spread them with softened butter. Divide the cheese among the toasts & broil until cheese is melted & bubbling.
Once the toasts are ready, let them sit for a few minutes before serving up.
While the toasts are resting, finish the soup. You can serve it up as is, if you like the texture, but I like my soups to be a little thicker so I used my immersion blender & blended about 1/3 of the soup so it had a thicker consistency, but still had a good number of whole lentils.
Serve up with the toasts & a sprinkling of parmesan cheese & enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
- 1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes
- 2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground toasted cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence
- half a large baguette
- 2-3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/3-1/2 cup Gruyère cheese, shredded
For the full recipe, visit Food Network