There are few things I love more than a flavorful soup. This Lentil Soup recipe has the added bonus of being healthy and hearty. It freezes beautifully, so I often make double batches for future meals. It is a true favorite.
- 1 pound lentils (I prefer French green lentils, but any lentil will work)
- 3 large yellow onions, chopped
- 2 large leeks, chopped (White part only. Very well rinsed.)
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 6-8 stalks celery, chopped (3 cups)
- 4-6 large carrots, chopped (3 cups)
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 quarts chicken stock (Use vegetable stock to make it vegetarian)
- 1/4 cup tomato paste with Italian seasonings
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
1) Pour lentils into a colander, and place the colander inside a large bowl. Pour boiling water over lentils, until completely submerged. Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes. This will soften the lentils before cooking.
2) Heat olive oil in a large stock pot. Add onions, leeks, celery, and carrots. Stir well. Saute until the onions are translucent. Add garlic and saute just until it becomes fragrant.
3) Add salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin. Cook for a few minutes, or until the spices are aromatic. The key with these sautéing steps is to soften the vegetables, but avoid burning the garlic. Keep the heat moderate and stir often.
4) Add tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables.
5) Add lentils and chicken stock to the pot and stir well.
6) Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered 1-2 hours, or until vegetables are tender. It may take longer if carrots are a large dice, so add water throughout the cooking process if necessary to avoid burning.
7) Add red wine vinegar.
8) Serve warm with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
If wanting to freeze, allow soup to cool about 10 minutes and ladle into jars. Leave at least 2 inches of head room in the jar. Place jars in the fridge and allow to soup to chill completely before freezing.