I think I have mentioned before that I like to make vegetarian meals almost every other day. We rarely eat meat two days in a row. However, by vegetarian I mean exactly that, vegetables or legumes must be included. I try to avoid the whole carb loaded vegetarian meal. Unfortunately, though there are many vegetarian meals out there, it’s hard to find ones that the whole family will like and also, whether I have most of the ingredients in my pantry or fridge.
Last week, I ended up making two kinds of soup for my vegetarian meals. Soups are one thing my whole family will consume. I usually buy or bake a nice, crusty loaf of bread to go along and everyone enjoys dipping and slurping.
Our first soup of the week was a hearty, yet light lentil soup. It was filled with brown lentils, carrots, celery and onions. Some cumin, garlic and a squeeze of lemon rounded out the earthy flavours. I served the soup with pita crisps and kale chips.
The soup is quick to make (I make it in my pressure cooker in eight minutes) even on the stove top. You can purée it if you wish, but I like the diced vegetables; they add a hearty, chunky quality to the soup. While the soup is cooking, you toast the pita bread it the oven with a brush of oil. The kale chips are a favourite with us. I had bought two huge bunches of kale from the farmers market and I made what I usually make with it: kale chips. They’re crisp, they’re tasty and incredibly nutritious. I will include the kale chips in a separate post.
soup serves eight.
1 teaspoon red chilli powder (optional)
salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a big soup pot on medium heat.
Add in the diced vegetables and let them soften, about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and stir till fragrant and then add the soaked lentils.
Add the cumin powder and chilli powder if using.
Stir the lentils in the oil and vegetables for about 5 minutes and
then add the water and bring to a boil.
Once the water comes to a boil, lower the heat and bring the soup
to a slow simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
(If using a pressure cooker, cover and bring to pressure and cook 8 minutes, follow your cooker’s instructions)
After 20 minutes, uncover the pot and see if the lentils are soft. If they are still a bit hard cook for another 10 minutes or so.
Once the lentils are done and the vegetables are soft, let it cool.
If the soup is too thick, add a bit more water until you reach your desired consistency. If you feel its too thin, let the water reduce a bit.
If you prefer to purée the soup, let it cool a bit first and
then purée in batches. Check for salt and pepper.
Add the lemon juice, tasting to see how you like it. You can always serve extra lemon wedges at the table for anyone who would like more.
Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.