Every year at this time, when the cheery Christmas lights have been turned off, the snow has been transformed from cozy white blanket to oppressive grey shroud, and everyone seems to have thrown down their show shovels and gone on pilgrimage for warm beaches and cold rum punch, I find myself hankering for spices from far, far away. At the same time, I’m afflicted with a deep-winter bone laziness, so I need to get my exotic fix with the absolute least possible amount of effort.
Enter…this soup. It makes my kitchen smell like what I imagine my kitchen would smell like, were I to vacation in Mumbai. It tastes like I chopped and simmered and ground spices for hours, instead of just throwing everything in a pot and then shuffling back to another episode of Gilmore Girls.
And this soup is not just another pretty face. Oh no. It packs in real nutrition. Lentils are a great source of iron and protein, so I can make it through a whole afternoon without rummaging through the fridge for cheese and crackers.
This time of year I get a little jittery if I run low on soup making supplies. That means carrots, celery, onions, garlic and Knorr’s Homestyle Stock. I also have every kind of lentil because I am not at all odd – red (fastest to cook), green/brown, black/beluga (best for impersonating meat) and some fancy French du Puy green lentils. Did I mention that Saskatchewan farmers grow and export more lentils than India even? Just doing my part to keep you fully-informed and up-to-date with your lentil facts. You’re welcome.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 large ribs celery, diced
- 1 small yellow or white onion, diced
- 1200 ml (5 cups) vegetable broth*
- 180 g (1 cup) red lentils
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- Ideas for topping: a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, toasted sunflower seeds
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the vegetables about 5 minutes, until soft.
- Add the lentils, broth, bay leaves and garam masala.
- Bring to a boil and then turn the heat way down. Simmer until the lentils are starting to fall apart, about 20 minutes.
- Just before serving, add your choice of toppings.
This recipe is based on Red Lentil Soup from The Kitchn.