Vegetable Lentil Soup
Unlike beans, lentils take a fairly short time to cook. They are a good source of protein, full of fiber, and they pack a ton of other great nutritional value. Aside from that, they taste great, especially when in a hearty, delicious soup. Combine that with several nutritious vegetables and you've got a meal that is healthy, satisfying, enjoyable, and easy to make. With no meat involved, this is also an attractive dish for my vegetarian friends, who I'm sure already have a knack for lentils.
Lentils come in a variety of colors. In this recipe, I am using red lentils. However, I've also used brown lentils in the past. Tailor this to your favorte lentil variety. Just be mindful of their different cooking times and adjust accordingly. When the weather cools down or when it's cold outside, nothing is more satisfying than a warm bowl of soup. Why not try Vegetable Lentil soup for the family today?
1 lb. Lentils (color of your choice)
3 Celery Sticks, diced
2 Carrots, diced
1 Onion, diced
3 - 5 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 - 1 cup Mushrooms, diced
1 Bell Pepper, diced
2 - 3 cups Kale, stem removed, roughly chopped
32 oz. Vegetable Broth
2 cans 14.5 oz Red Gold Diced Tomatoes (basil, garlic, oregano)
5 tbsps. Olive Oil
2 Bay Leaves
1 - 2 springs of Thyme
4 cups Water
Goya Adobo to Taste
Salt & Pepper to Taste
1. Before starting anything, have all your vegetables cleaned, prepped, diced and/or minced. Once that is done, wash your choice of lentils using the same method you would wash rice. Prior to doing so, remove any foreign objects like pebbles/stones. Please be aware of the cooking time of the lentils you chose. Red lentils tend to cook much quicker than brown lentils. With that being said, lentils do not have to be soaked in water before cooking them. The residual water after you wash and thoroughly drain your lentils will be enough to start softening your lentils while you continue with the other steps ahead.
2. In a large pot on medium to medium-high heat, add in the 5 tbsps. of olive oil, all the diced vegetables (onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms) and minced garlic. Saute until the vegetables start to soften, roughly 5 - 7 minutes. *If your vegetables start to dry out or burn, your heat is too high.
3. Add in 1 cup of water, the 2 bay leaves, sprigs of thyme and continue to cook the vegetables down, approximately another 10 minutes, stirring occassionally. Cover the pot with it's lid to help maintain the moisture and to help it cook down in between stirring.
4. Add the cleaned lentils, the 32oz pkg of vegetable broth, 3 additional cups of water, and 2 cans of Red Gold Diced Tomatoes. Mix thoroughly, allow it to return to a boil, and cook until the lentils are tender (roughly 10 - 20 minutes based on the type of lentils you use). Keep in mind, throughout this entire process, no salt or seasoning has been used. At least not yet.
5. When the lentils are practically cooked through, add in the kale and mix in. This is also the time to add salt and pepper to taste. Don't forget that Goya Adobo! (If you haven't realized by now, I practically use it on everything. Let the kale cook down just a few minutes and your soup is ready to be served!
I like to sprinkle a little cilantro on mines at the end and add a touch of Haitian Hot Sauce. The overall combination is downright delicious!
Posted November 20th, 2018
What's your favorite lentil color? What do you think of this recipe?
Let me know and comment below!
Let me know and comment below!