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Easy Lentil Soup

February 17, 2011

Lentils are great really.  They’re high in protein, fibre, folic acid and a whole slew of vitamins.  They’ve been known to lower cholesterol and are quite high in antioxidants.  They also make a great filler in sensory bins!

S. Geek and I both love lentils and one of our favourite ways to eat them is in a nice soup!  Now that Nay is a bit older we’ve started to serve more soups for dinner since he can handle the spoon.  I was a bit worried that he wouldn’t enjoy the texture but to my amazement both the kids really liked the soup once we convinced them to taste it!  Admittedly, it isn’t the prettiest dish I’ve ever made hence the kids hesitation to try it but you can dress it up with some lemon slices and sprinkling cilantro on top.

I used green lentils, but I’ve also made this recipe using red lentils.  Both are beautiful and flavourful but I find that the green lentils need to cook just a bit longer than the red ones.  Maybe you could soak them before hand, but I didn’t do that and they were nice and soft by the time I served the soup at dinner.

Start by rinsing and picking through the lentils to make sure there are no bad ones in the mix.  Then bring the stock and lentils to a boil over high heat.  Bring the temperature down to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes.

While the lentils are simmering, heat some olive oil in a skillet and then stir in some garlic and onion.  Cook the onions until they are transparent about 3 minutes or so.  In the past I’ve added in some carrots at this point too but I didn’t for this batch.

Once the lentils have simmered for twenty minutes, stir in the onions and garlic and then measure and stir in the cumin, cayenne, and salt and then stir that into the lentils.

Continue to simmer the lentils for an additional two hours until the lentils are tender.  Stir the pot occasionally and test often to see how they are doing.  Once the soup is done, I puree about half the soup and then stir it back into the soup so that it’s not the consistency of baby food.

Serve with some chopped cilantro and fresh lemon juice.  If you’re planning on freezing some of this (Out of this batch, which is doubled, I got enough for dinner and then froze two big pots in the freezer)  don’t add in the lemon or cilantro.  I know it isn’t pretty, but it’s delicious so it makes up a lot of ground that way.  I usually serve this with some no knead bread and then a veggie tray.  This is one of my favourite meatless meals, and I’m absolutely delighted that the kids seem to like it as much as me.


Here’s the ingredient list:

not doubled here

6 c. chicken or vegetable stock

1 lb lentils

3 tbls olive oil

1 garlic clove minced

1 large onion, chopped

1 tbls ground cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c. chopped cilantro

3/4 c. fresh lemon juice




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