I am totally a fresh veggies salad kinda girl (especially when the salad has got tons of fresh, chopped herbs like mint, parsley, etc.), but sometimes in the winter I really crave something hot and dense.
Enter soups! I love soups because they’re healthy and easy to put together, and you can make soooo many different ones so that you never get bored. I like to keep it interesting by cooking chunky soups as well as smooth blended ones. It always feels like I’m being kind to myself when I warm up a bowl of nutritious, nourishing soup whenever I get hungry.
Continuing my recent “tradition” of Lazy Girl recipes, here is a very hearty, very healthy, very filling comfort-food style soup that literally requires minutes of active work. I’m talking about less than ten minutes, if you’re a slow cook. If you memorize this recipe and move semi-quickly about the kitchen, you’ll be finished in less than five. Then all you’ll have to do is let it simmer until it’s ready (about 30 minutes), occasionally checking on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.
The red lentils in this soup provide a thick, rich backdrop for the other lentils, and the three varieties give the soup an interesting color/texture play. This soup is so thick and hearty it’s almost like a stew, and the garlic and cumin flavors complement this and add another layer of cozy flavor to the mix. The allspice and bay leaves give it a more sophisticated depth, but they can be omitted if you don’t happen to have them on hand — the soup can stand alone without them and still be great!
Red, Green, & Black Lentil Soup:
Estimated Time: 5 minutes active prep + 35 minutes simmer
Kosher Classification: Neutral
Music that Complements This Dish:
2 cups red lentils, rinsed
1 cup green lentils, rinsed
1 cup black lentils, rinsed
3 Tbs. ground cumin
5 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
3 whole allspice peppercorns
1 Tbs. vegetable oil (choose one with a neutral flavor and a high smoke point)
Salt & pepper, to taste
Start by rinsing and draining your lentils well.
Then heat a bit of oil (about 1 Tbs.) in a large pot over medium heat.
Crush the garlic and add to the pot. Add all the spices and stir well to avoid burning.
Once the spices have released their fragrance, add the lentils and stir well.
Add about 9 cups of fresh water, and bring to a boil.
Simmer the soup on low heat, covered, until the lentils are soft (about 30 minutes). Stir the soup from time to time to avoid burning the bottom and add water as necessary.
Add salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!
* Lazy Girl Modifications:
Use only cumin and garlic if you don’t have bay leaves and allspice. Use 3 heaping tablespoons of pre-crushed garlic instead of 5 minced cloves.
- Heat 1 Tbs. vegetable oil over medium heat.
- Crush 5 garlic cloves and add to oil (or add 3 Tbs. pre-crushed garlic).
- Add 3 Tbs. ground cumin, 2 bay leaves, and 3 whole allspice peppercorns.
- Add 2 cups red lentils, 1 cup green lentils, and 1 cup black lentils (rinsed).
- Add water to cover (about 9 cups) and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.
- Add salt & pepper to taste.