Vegetable and Lentil Soup
On a cold night, there’s nothing more satisfying than a hearty bowl of soup like this one, chock-full of bright vegetables and tender lentils. Unlike other dried legumes, lentils need no presoaking, so think of this recipe when you want homemade soup but are short on time.
- 2 cups (14 oz./440 g) brown lentils
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
- 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) water
- 1 can (28 oz./875 g) low-sodium diced or crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 4 oz. (125 g) baby spinach
- 2 Tbs. dry sherry
Pick over the lentils and discard any stones or grit. Rinse in a colander under cold running water and drain thoroughly.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the carrot and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes more. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the broth, water, lentils, tomatoes with their juices, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently until the lentils are very tender, about 20 minutes. Chop the spinach coarsely and stir into the soup. Cook, uncovered, just until the spinach wilts, about 1 minute. Stir in the sherry. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Healthy in a Hurry, by Karen Ansel, MS, RD and Charity Ferreira (Weldon Owen, 2011).