It’s cold today, and I have been craving warmth all day long. So, I had the leftover Eggplant Manicotti for Breakfast, and wanted something warm along with my veggies for lunch. Voila! Lentil soup. I followed the skeleton of this great blog called “Simply Scratch” and made my tweaks, as you will see below. (www.simply scratch.com: There are all these step by step instructions with photos to show you what it will look like, so if you are just beginning to cook, this would be great for you)! I LOVE how the soup came out; it’s very smoky and hearty. The Smoked Paprika makes you feel like there is bacon or something in here, when there is no fat at all! It’s fantastic! I topped it with pumpkin seeds and my favorite One Lucky Duck Parmesan Flakes (you really don’t need, but I am a little obsessed). I paired it with some cut up veg, and a little of the filling from the Eggplant Manicotti to use as a dip, and it was an excellent lunch!
1 Lg Onion, Diced
1 Carrot, Diced
4 Celery Ribs, Diced
6 Garlic Cloves, Minced
2 c Dry Lentils, Sorted and Rinsed
2 Qtz Low Sodium Veg Broth (I use Imagine)
2 Bay Leaves
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4- 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
10-12 Pepitas (Raw Pumpkin Seeds), Optional
Sprinkle of One Lucky Duck’s Parmesan Flakes, Optional
For cheese dip, see filling for Eggplant Manicotti
In a large Dutch Oven or Heavy Stock Pan over medium high heat, pour about 1/2 c of your broth or enough to coat bottom of the pan. Let this heat for a minute or two (it will start to bubble quickly, so chop your veggies first), and then add onion, carrots, and celery and stir. Let the veggies sweat, or cook until the onion begins to be translucent. Once the veggies have cooked a little, add your minced garlic and continue to sauté. After 5 minutes, you can add your cleaned lentils, bay leaf and spices. Sir and then add the rest of the broth. Let everything come to a boil and then bring heat to low to simmer for about half an hour or until lentils are done. They should have some body, but be soft to the bite.
Once the soup has done cooking, place half the soup in a blender, and mix on high for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is creamy and incorporated. If you like a less chunky soup, you can blend the whole mixture, but I would suggest at least doing half because it gives the soup body and texture, while leaving lots of big chunks. Stir the blended mixture back into the remaining soup in the pot, and serve!