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Author Notes: My favorite way to make lentil soup is with loads of chopped up dried/cured chorizo in the bottom. The oils and all the goodness from the chorizo makes the soup zingy and spicy and delicious. Not exactly healthy, but the flavors....oh the flavors. But in deference to trying to do more meatless entrees, I decided to remove the meat, but leave the essential chorizo flavors. And I would have taken a picture but seriously, folks, has anyone been able to take a picture of lentil soup where it doesn't just look like a bowl of brown mush? It's certainly far, far outside my skill set.....
Oh, and pretty much like all soups, it's significantly better the next day once all the flavors have had a chance to get to know one another better. —Niknud
Serves a crowd
- 3 small carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2.5 cups dried lentils
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional for extra heat)
- 1 teaspoon corriander
- 1 teaspoon epazote (or oregano)
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes (with juice)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 5-8 cups veggie broth, water, any combination thereof
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- chopped cilantro (optional)
- toasted pepitas (optional)
- thin sliced raw jalapeno peppers (optional)
- In a large, heavy bottomed (think Lodge) pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and saute the carrots and onions until slightly softened.
- While the veggies are doing their thing, put together all the spices and herbs (except salt) in a small bow. Add the mixture along with the garlic and another tablespoon of olive oil to the veggies and cook for about 2 minutes until the spices get all fragrant, stirring constantly. If it gets too tight, add another tablespoon of oil. Don't burn the garlic please.
- Add the lentils and stir to coat. Then add the can of tomatoes and about 5 cups of the veggie broth. Simmer until lentils reach the desired texture, adding more liquid as neccessary. Season with salt to your taste. The quantity range on the broth/water is because some lentils seem to suck up more liquid then others and some people perfer a thicker or thinner soup. Me? I like it thick enough so my spoon stands straight up but that's just me. I leave it in your capable hands. Garnish with cilantro and toasted pepitas or jalapenos if you like.
- For non-vegans: throw some colby jack on top. Or sour cream. Or both.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for The Best Thing You Ate This Year
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Vegan Recipe