Vegetable-Lentil Soup is a versatile soup that may be adapted in many ways to suit the season and your taste. Its creamy consistency and bright color add a visual appeal to the great taste. The base of this soup, lentil beans, provides the bright color, body and volume, fiber and protein making this a hearty soup and a great addition to any salad for a the perfect light meal. On that note, be sure to use red (orange?) lentils, not the green ones, since the soup will take the color of the lentils and green soup is not visually appealing. You may use any vegetables you like and can find at your area and in any specific season. It’s also a great way to use up those vegetables in the back of the fridge but there are some main vegetables I consider necessary for the success of this soup. Onions; add a special fragrance and a distinct flavor. Carrots; saturate the orange tones of this soup and add a sweet flavor. Bell pepper; adds a distinctive aroma. Potatoes; I always use a small potato to give volume to the soup but too much potato will make for a very thick and starchy soup and will take over the flavor of the other vegetables. Tomatoes, add a hint of red.
This time I used red lentils, tomatoes, a potato, carrots, butternut squash, bell pepper, and onions. I didn’t use the entire butternut squash you see in the image below, just some of it.
Rinse the lentils with water several times while gently rubbing the seeds with your fingers to make sure all the dirt comes out. When the water is clear, cover the lentils with water and allow it to soak while you prepare everything else.
Peel and chop the vegetables into large chunks. Strain the lentils.
Place butter in a large pot and turn heat to high.
When the butter is melted, add the vegetables and stir with a wooden spoon for a few minutes, just so they absorb the butter-y flavor. Immerse the vegetables in water or chicken broth until comes about an inch above the vegetables. Cover the pot and let it come to a boil.
Turn the heat down to medium low and let it simmer until the vegetables are cooked and soft to the touch. Don’t cook it for too long as vegetables lose their nutrients if overcooked. When it’s done, uncover the pot and allow the soup to cool down before pureeing.
Place vegetables and liquid in the blender and puree until it reaches a creamy consistency. I usually have to blend it in two or three parts depending on amount of (potential) soup and blender size.
Add parsley leaves to the last part to be pureed blender to give it a hint of green.
Return soup to the pot and salt and season to taste. If your soup is too thin or not creamy enough you may add a little bit of milk or cream to add body. Return pot to heat and let it simmer for ten minutes or so.
1 cup red split lentils
1 cup baby carrots
4 small tomatoes
Chicken stalk or water
1 small potato
1/2 bell pepper
1/4 cup butternut squash, small chunks
1-2 tablespoons butter
salt, pepper to taste
Handful of parsley leaves
- Place lentil beans in a deep bowl and fill bowl with water and gently rub the beans with your hands to get the dirt out; water will cloudy. Throw water out and repeat until water comes clear. Allow beans to soak in water while preparing the vegetables.
- Peel onions, potatoes, carrots, butternut squash.
- Halve green bell pepper and remove seeds.
- Cut all vegetables into large chunks.
- Melt butter over high heat in a large pot.
- Strain lentils from water and place in pot.
- Add vegetables with a wooden spoon for a few minutes.
- Immerse the vegetables in water or chicken broth until comes about an inch above the vegetables.
- Cover the pot and let it come to a boil.
- Turn the heat down and let it simmer until the vegetables are cooked and soft to the touch. Take care to not overcook as vegetables tend to lose nutrients.
- When it’s done, uncover the pot and allow the soup to cool down.
- Place vegetables and liquid in the blender and puree until it reaches a creamy consistency. You may need to do it in two or three parts depending on soup amount and blender size.
- Add parsley leaves to the last part to be pureed blender to give it a hint of green.
- Add parsley leaves to the blender and pulse for a few seconds.
- Return soup to the pot and salt and season to taste.
- If your soup is too thin or not creamy enough you may add a little bit of milk or cream to add body.
- Return pot to low heat and let it simmer for about ten minuets.
- Pour into serving bowls and garnish with parsley leaves.