I love lentil soup almost any time, but I think it’s the tastiest in October/November as we watch the leaves turn! The following variation is a favorite, and serves as a great base to add almost any other veggies you have on hand – celery, carrots, caulflower, etc. are perfect. You can also serve this over rice to make a complete protein, and to stretch it a bit – if you’re doing that, you can also add more tomatoes to extend the sauce.
Warm Spicy Lentil Soup
Serves 4 (or two really hungry people!)
2 C dry green lentils
1 medium onion
3 cloves of garlic
4 cups vegetable broth and 2 cups of water
few tbs olive oil
Hunk of stale bread (equivalent to 2-3 slices)
1 tsp of sweet paprika paste (comes in a tube), or 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp mitmita blend for spice/heat (this is available at ethic groceries or online – or you can make your own mix of ground chili peppers, cardamom seed, cloves, and salt – can also make it more “warming” by adding a bit of cinnamon, cumin, and ginger)
15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp salt
parsley garnish (optional)
Peel onion and cut it in half. Dice one half and set aside for later. Cut the other half into rough chunks and put in the pot with 3 smashed garlic cloves, rinsed lentils, and the 6 cups of liquid (mixed broth and water). Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 30-40 min (until lentils are tender).
When lentils are almost ready, crisp up the bread in a separate pan in the olive oil. Remove the bread from the pan (push any crumbs to the side) and sauté the diced onions for a few minutes. Add paprika/spice and cook for 30 sec., then add tomatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes.
Chop the bread into small bits. Add the bread and the tomato mixture to the soup, stir and cook for a few minutes, taste and add salt/pepper as needed, garnish with parsley and serve! Add more water if the lentils have absorbed most of it.
Note: I actually like to keep my bread in bigger chunks because I like getting chunks of bread in soup, but it is more common to finely chop or ground the bread.