The top three reasons I love fall so much are sweaters, scarves, and soup. And only one of those is edible, so you can guess which one is my favorite. Since the first signs of fall appeared a few weeks ago, I’ve been eating soup for lunch almost every day. A bowl of hearty soup and some bread for dunking is one of the most satisfying lunches—and one of the only lunches that can keep me full until dinner, which is no easy task.
Lentil soup is a particularly satisfying soup, which is super great because it’s so healthy. Definitely not the prettiest soup, but certainly one of the tastiest and heartiest. And it’s so incredibly simple, and so, so good. You wouldn’t think that a soup that looks like…that…and has so little to it would be so tasty, would you?
Lentils are just a simple legume, but in this soup, they are highlighted and elevated to their most delicious state. I used chicken broth here, but you can use vegetable broth to make it vegan. This is a great base recipe that’s very versatile; add in some fresh spinach or kale at the end of cooking, use your favorite spices, add peppers or potatoes to the mirepoix, on and on. But really, you need just a few ingredients and spices to bring this soup to life.
Start by sweating your veggies. Heat your olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat, then add your diced carrots, celery, and onion. Sprinkle the salt in and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add your smashed garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Add your lentils, tomatoes, broth, and spices and stir. Bring the heat up to high and the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until lentils are tender.
Using an immersion blender, partially puree the mixture to your desired consistency. You could also skip this step for a thinner soup. At this point, taste the soup and add salt to taste as the saltiness will vary depending on the broth you use. Better safe than salty!
And serve! I like a dollop of greek yogurt (or sour cream) on top, and bread on the side. We made some cheddar-beer bread alongside and it was a perfect pairing. Dipping is a requirement.
. Adapted from Alton Brown *I used common brown lentils, but you can really use any kind of lentil—just be conscious of cooking time. Green lentils will take longer to cook, and red lentils cook the fastest.
Adapted from Alton Brown
*I used common brown lentils, but you can really use any kind of lentil—just be conscious of cooking time. Green lentils will take longer to cook, and red lentils cook the fastest.