In our household winter is soup season, the time of year when a couple of evening meals each week are hearty broths filled with vegetables, lentils, beans and heavy grains like barley and faro. When it’s cold out, soup make a satisfying supper and is even better for lunch the next day.
This recipe gives you a versatile base to which you can add whatever vegetables you might have in the fridge. Garnish with feta or Parmesan.
Lentil and Bean Soup
- 2 Tbsp. oil
- 2 onions, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or put through a press
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 1 cup roasted red peppers, diced
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes or chunky tomato sauce
- About 7 cups of broth (or water)
- 1 cup of red lentils
- 1 cup cooked beans (navy beans, chick peas, white kidney beans)
- 1 bay leaf
- A dried mushroom, if you have one
- Sea salt & pepper to taste
- Handful of fresh herbs (cilantro, basil or parsley)
- In a large soup pot over medium heat saute the onions in the oil until soft then add the garlic and carrots.
- Let cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Add tomatoes, broth, dried mushroom and bay leaf.
- Give it all a good stir, cover and bring to a simmer.
- Add the lentils, stir again, and cover.
- Let it simmer away, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are cooked.
- Add the beans and roasted red pepper. Season with salt and pepper.
- Toss in your favourite herbs (fresh or dried) and serve with a good squeeze of lemon and feta crumbled over or grated Parmesan.
- Add chopped cauliflower or zucchini to the vegetable mixture
- Omit the tomatoes and replace the lentils with barley or faro. Replace the red peppers with a diced sweet potato and half of a turnip (rutabaga)
- Add 2 cups of chopped spinach or Swiss chard just before serving