Lentil soup is my comfort food. It warms me up in the winter, I love the way it tastes, it’s very easy to make, it’s a great way to use up old veggies or left overs from the fridge, and it is an affordable way to feed a crowd. Lentil soup also makes a filling but simple meal that can offer a nice break from rich holiday foods. Lentils come in all shapes and sizes, but once cooked, they all turn a shade of brown. Garnish ideas below, however, can make for a nice presentation. Smaller lentils cook faster, while large ones can take a full hour to soften. Food stores with a bulk aisle usually have a nice selection.
Basic Lentil Soup
1 cup lentils
3 cups water or broth
3+ cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
1/2 t. salt
3 T. olive oil
veggies: try diced carrots, celery, or diced tomatoes
herbs: parsley is my favorite, you can also try oregano, basil, thyme, or cilantro
Throw everything in a pot, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for an hour. Stir occasionally and taste once the lentils have completely softened. Add water, salt or additional herbs and spiced to taste.
To make a better presentation, play around with garnishes! Try a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt. Sprinkle with parsley or green onions. For a holiday soup, try a dusting of bright red paprika on yogurt and parsley.
If you’re camping, see if your grocery store’s bulk aisle carries dehydrated veggies! Ours had a nice “camper veggie mix” of carrots, celery, corn and beans. We also found dehydrated onions and garlic in the spice section. We added these items to barley and lentils to make a nice soup mix. To turn it into soup, all we’ll need to do is add water, boil for an hour, and salt to taste.