I don’t know about you, but when It’s snowing it makes me want to hunker down and cook! It definitely feels like a soup day to me. I’ve been feeling a tad bit behind this year thinking about Christmas. I have bought some gifts for the kids, and hopefully they will stay hidden, until I find the time to wrap them. This is the week I need to get serious about Christmas. But for now, I’ve got soup making on my mind. Lentil soup that is…
With the snow, I’m going to use the ingredients I already have. Usually, I would use 1 leek in my vegetable stock, but today I’ll just substitute it with an onion. And remember, you can use store-bought stock. Or better yet use your pre-made frozen stock to speed up the process.
If you’ve read my black bean soup recipe it also uses homemade vegetable stock. If you have vegetables on hand it’s pretty easy to make.
Ingredients for today’s vegetable stock:
- 2 Onions (usually 1 onion and 1 leek)
- 3 Carrots sliced and cut in half
- 3 Stalks of celery sliced and cut in half
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 Large stockpot
- 16 Cups of water or less (You’ll need approx 9 cups of stock for your soup)
Cook on low for 2 hours or more with your lid cracked just a little bit to let the steam out, it will reduce down, making some tasty stock. If you are in a hurry add less water to start with, and that means less cook time.
While your stock is cooking, it’s time to prep all your veggies.
Ingredients for the Lentil soup:
- 1 Onion diced
- 1 Carrot peeled and diced
- 1 Celery stalk diced
- 1 Small zucchini diced
- 2 Handfuls of little tomatoes diced
- 1 Bell pepper (I used orange) diced
- 3 Cloves of garlic minced
- 2 Cups of dried lentils
- 1/2 Teaspoon turmeric
- 1 Teaspoon cumin
- 9-10 Cups of veggie stock
- Cilantro 2 handfuls chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
If your veggies are ready and your stock isn’t, just wrap up your prep plate and place it in the fridge.
Once your stock is ready, you can start sautéing your veggies. Start with olive oil in the pan. First add your onions, celery, carrots, garlic, etc. Season as you go. Remember salt is your friend. And continue adding and sautéing everything on your prep plate.
Once your veggies are done sauteing, add your lentils. Measure the lentils, rinse with a strainer and add them to the pot. Mix and then start adding your vegetable stock. I run mine through a chinois strainer (shinwa) it’s a extremely fine mesh strainer, perfect for making stock. Add 9-10 cups of stock. Any leftovers? Just place it in the freezer for future soups. I ended up with just enough for this soup.
After letting your soup cook for awhile, your beans should be soft (approx 1- 2 hours) start adding your seasoning. 1 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric. And add salt and pepper. And remember, because it’s made with homemade stock you need to season it. Meaning you need to add salt. This will make your soup come alive. Oh, and don’t forget lots of cilantro!
Use a stick blender to break up some of your beans. And thicken your soup. If you don’t have a stick blender just use a regular blender, add roughly 2 cups to your blender. Once it’s blended, add it back to your soup and stir.
If you have time, just let this soup continue to cook on low or low simmer with a lid on. I think it gets better the longer it cooks. Season to taste. You’ll know when it’s ready. It’s perfect topped with some cilantro and served with bread.
I hope this soup can make you feel warm and cozy this winter.
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