Lentil Soup – unquestionably the best
Not only will it satiate your hunger, warm the stomach, give you much needed nourishment, but it is also easy to make, even for an antithesis of a cook like me.
When I was young, I used to hate soups. No, no, no soups, whether yellow or brown or green, not even red. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to consume that slippery stuff. It was neither a drink in traditional sense, nor a solid food that you could stab with a knife or fork. As far as I was concerned it was non-food.
When I entered the world of the employed, working all day, socialising in the evening, time on hand became a rare commodity. I was forced to seek out food which could be prepared in minutes rather than hours. Someone suggested soup in a packet: drop the dehydrated contents into a mug, pour boiling water over it and you have instant hot soup. Take two or three slices of Mother’s Pride bread (I can’t imagine mother would have been proud) and voila, you have your evening meal ready. In time I started liking the concoction and even tried different flavours, like chicken, minestrone, tomato and onion, leek and potato. They all tasted the same, but I didn’t care.
Later when my wife arrived (no she didn’t win my heart through the stomach) we began experimenting making soup with fresh ingredient. It didn’t take that much longer since we now had four hands and two heads between us. Though my wife disagrees, she says my head doesn’t count, as it is a void shell. Sometimes she feels sorry for me and then she tells me how clever I am, that I am the brains behind the whole enterprise, she is only a dumb sous chef.
Anyway, after much experimentation we have come up with this brilliant lentil soup, a culinary wonder. It is low fat, satisfying, inexpensive, protein packed and importantly easy to make. After it simmers for about 20 minutes, you’ll be rewarded with a creamy soup with just the right texture. Here’s how to make the best lentil soup at home.
The Best Lentil Soup Starts in Your Pantry
There are three common types of lentils: green, brown, and red. Red lentils work best for this soup, as they cook quickly, and they break down a bit in the broth, adding to the soup’s creamy texture.
While the base of this soup is made with carrots, onions, and garlic, don’t be afraid to use what you have on hand. Water can even be used in place of the stock. Finish the soup with fresh or frozen baby spinach (or even baby kale). This soup is infinitely adaptable to whatever you have at home right now.
Serves 6 to 8
Prep Time: 5 – 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 cups dried red lentils (about 1 pound)
- 1 medium onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon of red chilli (vary to taste or leave out)
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 6 cups of vegetable stock
- 5 cups baby spinach (about 5 ounces)
- Peel and chop the carrots and onion. Mince cloves of garlic.
- Place the red lentils (about 1 pound) in a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly under the tap water. Set aside to drain while you cook the vegetables.
- Heat 3 tablespoons cooking (olive) oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the carrots and onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, red chilli or black pepper (to taste). Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the lentils, can of tomato sauce, and 6 cups of stock, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Stir occasionally until the lentils are tender, 15 – 22 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in 5 cups spinach.
- Whip with a hand blender for 5 to 10 seconds (depending on the kind of consistency you like).
- Reheat for 3 or 4 minutes.
- Serve with chunks of whole meal bread (not Mothers Pride)
Once you have tried this receipe please tell us how you fared. If you want to share your good recipes with us we will be delighted.