Vegetarian Lentil Soup
Slowly browned onions and tomato paste cooked for a few minutes in the bottom of the pot to turn it a roasty reddish brown give this soup tons of flavor. With carrots and celery added to the mix you don’t need stock to ensure the soup is tasty, not plodding. Since French lentils hold their shape during cooking, puree a little of the soup in the blender and add it back to the pot to give it some creaminess. The soup thickens as it sits, so you may need to add more water if you reheat it.
Vegetarian Lentil Soup Recipe
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 cups (12 ounces) small green French lentils
8 cups water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice Chopped parsley (for garnish)
1. In a soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
2. Push the onions to the side of the pot and in the space you made, add the tomato paste. Cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the tomato paste darkens to a ruddy brown. Add the thyme, garlic, celery and carrots. Cook and stir for 1 minute.
3. Add the lentils, water, soy sauce, salt and pepper to the pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer for cook for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.
4. Scoop out 2 cups of the soup and puree it in a blender until smooth. Return the blended soup to the pot and stir in the lemon juice. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
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