I'm declaring this week-- SOUP WEEK! It's like Shark week-- but with soup! After scarfing down too much food, all I want is something simple and hearty with lots of vegetables & fiber. Soup always comes to my rescue! Make it one night and you have a few days worth of leftovers. This time of the year is so jam-packed with activities, it's nice to just quickly warm up a bowl of soup and have lunch or dinner in an instant. Pair a bowl with a crusty hunk of bread and a nice green salad and you are feeling good about the holidays coming up. I know I am.
So yeah, let's kick off SOUP WEEK!
I'm really warming up to lentils these days. My mom made me a really great Ina Garten soup with lentils and kielbasa (will make & post sometime soon!) and I've been nuts for lentils ever since. This Vegetable Lentil Soup is pretty hearty and of course perfect with garlic croutons. There's lots of vegetables in the mix and it's a really good base if you want to experiment with different flavors. Add some cumin and you have some smokey depth! Add chunks of sweet potatoes and you're using a power food in addition to all this tasty goodness. I bet kale would be awesome in there too...I'll probably try that next time! I threw in some freshly grated Parmesan in one of my servings (NOM!) and in another bowl, I added freshly sliced avocado (TASTY!) Go ahead, make this and use it as a springboard for your new favorite soup. Or if you are just looking for something to put in a bowl that will warm up your freezing hands, this will do the trick, no doubt.
And we're off!
Gather your ingredients!
Chop up the carrots, celery, onions, tomatoes & garlic.
In your soup pot add some olive oil and cook your vegetables until slightly browned.
Now add the tomatoes. Cook. Then add the tomato paste. Cook.
Add in the lentils, stock, herbs & season with salt and pepper.
While the lentils are cooking in your soup, skim the top and discard the lentil foam.
When the soup is almost done, add a little vinegar to give it some PUNCH!
I should talk about the croutons. I took two big slices of bread and toasted them in the toaster.
I smeared them with olive oil and rubbed a clove of garlic over the tops and then cut them up. Instant croutons!
Drop the croutons in your bowl of soup. Add a little Parmesan if you desire...
Your cold hands will love holding on to this bowl.
Vegetable Lentil Soup
(recipe slightly adapted from Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, peeled and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups brown or green lentils
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 4 cups water, plus more if needed
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- garlic croutons, optional