- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped (white or yellow)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large carrot , chopped (about 1¼ cups)
- 2 celery ribs , chopped (about 1¼ cups)
- 2 cups dried lentils , green or brown, rinsed
- 14 oz crushed tomato
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock / broth, low sodium
- ½ tsp each cumin and coriander powder
- 1½ tsp paprika powder
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 lemon (zest + juice)
- ¼ tsp salt and pepper, each
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, cook for 2 minutes.
- Add celery and carrot. Cook for 7 - 10 minutes or until softened and the onion is sweet. Don't rush this step, it is key to the flavour base of the soup.
- Add all remaining ingredients except the lemon and salt. Stir.
- Increase heat and bring to simmer. Scoop scum on the surface off and discard (do this again during cooking if required). Place lid on and turn heat down to medium low. Simmer for 35 - 40 minutes or until lentils are soft.
- Remove bay leaves.
- Thicken Soup: Using a stick blender, do 2 or 3 quick whizzes to thicken the soup (see video below). Or transfer 2 cups to a blender, let it cool slightly, then hold lid with tea towel and blend then transfer back into pot.
- Add a touch of water if you want to adjust soup consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Grate over the zest of the lemon then add a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving. Garnish with parsley if desired and serve with warm crusty bread slathered liberally with butter!
Lentils: This should work with any type of lentils except Puy Lentils (French lentils, small dark brown/black ones because they hold their shape). Red, yellow, brown, green. The colour of the soup will just be a bit different. Cook times vary slightly as well so just start checking if the lentils are done at around 30 minutes. I really urge you to make this with dried lentils if you can. Better texture and flavour compared to canned. However, to make this with canned lentils, use 2 x 400g/14oz cans of lentils (drained and rinsed) and reduce the broth by 1 cup. Simmer liquid for 20 minutes before adding the lentils then cook with lentils for another 15 minutes (don’t want to cook canned lentils for too longer otherwise they will turn into mush). Storage: This freezes extremely well! Or keeps in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.