I’ll love you from my head to-ma-toes, lentil the end of time. I’ll prove it with this soup. It’ll warm your heart and soul. Rich, creamy, filling, and no junk like the canned variety. It just doesn’t compare. Serve it along side a piece of crusty bread or your fave grilled cheese for dunking. It’s even better the next day if you’d like to make it ahead for a hot lunch date.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (substitute sweet paprika in a pinch, with the addition of 4-5 drops liquid smoke, if available)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 24 oz. or 3 cups of diced tomatoes
- 2 dates, pits removed
- 1 1/2 cups dry red lentils, rinsed
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- Red pepper flakes and additional coconut milk, optional for garnish
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat oil in a medium pot. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute, followed by the carrot and celery, sautéing for 5 minutes. Add paprika and cumin and stir, cooking until fragrant (30 seconds or so). Add the apple cider vinegar and stir. Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, dates, nutritional yeast, coconut milk and and lentils. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, ensuring lentils are mushy. Uncover and let cool slightly.
Transfer to a blender and puree. Taste and adjust seasonings, if desired. Depending on use of salted canned tomatoes or salted vegetable broth, additional salt may be required. If the soup is thick add a little water to thin to desired consistency.
Put a couple big scoops into bowls and top with red chile flakes and a drizzle of coconut milk, if desired.