There is nothing like a good hardy soup with a slice of homemade bread on a cold winter night. I love all sorts of soup, but one of my favorites is red lentil. It is easy and quick to prepare, making it ideal to serve on a week night. For a complete protein source, combine your beans, lentils and legumes with a grain like wheat or brown rice. I made this lentil soup in my new Dutch oven, but if you want dinner all ready when you get home from work, throw everything in slow cooker for 8 hours on low and come home to a delicious and nutritious meal! Always add a side veggie or salad to up your nutrient intake!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon salt, more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pinch of ground chili powder or cayenne
- 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup red lentils (rinsed well)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat oil, add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder or cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes longer. Add broth, 2 cups water, lentils and carrot. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary. If you like your soup chunky, leave it as it, or purée half the soup then add it back to pot. Stir in lemon juice and cilantro (if using).
Throw this soup together this week and let me know what you think! Happy cooking!