As we say good bye to winter it is fun to spice up our soup life with something out of the “stew and chicken” box. Soup or broth is AlWAYS brewing in our house. Lentils are an inexpensive way to add variety and a lot of flavor! Our absolute favorite soup base is bone broth. I do make a vegetable scrap broth that is tasty if I need to keep the soup vegetarian for a guest or we run out of bone broth. Vegetable broth is not nutrient rich. It is simple to make and much better than a box or (shudder) bullion cubes.
Without further ado here are a three of the BEST Lentil Soups (our favorites).
Morrocan Red Lentil- From The Cedar Spoon (recipe)
Substitutions: We add our own special flavor by browning up some beef (and ground liver if we have it) and adding it in. We also add 2 teaspoons of turmeric and use a jar of our fire roasted salsa to replace the tomatoes in the recipe. This adds a flavor kick that is sooooo yummy!
Racheal Ray’s Spicy Lentil Soup.
This lentil soup is made with the more traditional green lentils. This is a rich hearty soup that is very good. I am not a huge fan of the amount of tomato in the original recipe. We love it with: 1 cup Fire Roasted salsa (or diced tomatoes in a pinch). We OMIT: the anchovies, pancetta and bay leaf (I dislike the flavor of bay leaf in most recipes). With these little changes this soup tastes like my favorite from a little Greek Restraunt in the area. Delicious!
Lisa D’s House Special
Roasted Garlic Red Lentil (Crockpot Friendly!)
This is hands down the recipe I get the most commpliments on. If you only try this one. Try this! I have had some one tell me, ” I do not like lentil soup but I like that.” Which are pretty much a cook’s favorite words. A friend copied this recipe for me years ago. I lost the recipe but continued to make it from memory adding changes here or there. I wrote the adapted recipe here
Roasted Garlic Red Lentil Soup
- 1 lb red lentils
- 1 large sweet onion (red or white)
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 1 cup chopped celery (the leaves add the best flavor)
- 1 whole head of garlic roasted (instructions here)
- 3 fresh cloves of garlic
- 28oz of whole peel tomatoes roughly chopped
- 3 TBS tomato paste
- 8 cup beef bone broth (preferred) or vegetable stock
- 1 t. rosemary
- 1 bay leaf (optional- I do not like a strong bay flavor)
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 3 TBS balsamic vinegar
- 2 TBS extra Virgin Olive oil (if using vegetable broth)
Saute carrots, celery, and onions in a heat stable oil, until soft and onions begin to brown. I use grape seed oil or the fat from the bone broth.
Add in lentils, roasted garlic, tomatoes, rosemary and bay leaf if using. This soup benefits from a long simmer. At this point if you put it all into the crockpot on low for the day you’ll have a delicious dinner waiting for you.
Simply add in the crushed fresh garlic, parsley, vinegar and olive oil (if needed) and by the time you set the table and make a salad the soup is ready! Enjoy!
Let me know what you like!