6. Lentil soup

Thanks to Jana Riess for this extremely easy, cheap, and tasty recipe. I plan to serve this soup regularly during the Lenten Experiment, along with homemade bread and perhaps a salad. Maybe we'll even be able to afford fresh fruit for dessert...

This recipe makes at least 10 cups of soup. If you need only one or two servings, you can freeze the rest. Or throw a party.

  • one pound of lentils,
picking out the bad. Into a crockpot, place the lentils and
  • 6 cups water, chicken broth, or vegetable stock
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons minced dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
Cover and cook on low for 7 - 8 hours or on high for 4 - 5 hours, until lentils are tender.

Notes from LaVonne: I followed this recipe exactly, and I ended up with a lovely thick lentil stew. Because I wanted soup, however, I added

  • 1 quart (32 oz) low-sodium chicken broth
and heated on low for another four or five hours.

It's OK to substitute other dried beans (though you'll need to presoak them overnight before throwing them in the slow cooker) and other seasonings.

You can also toss in other mild-flavored vegetables for variety: potatoes, spinach, squash, yams... If you want to use up last night's fully cooked leftovers, add them to the pot 1/2 hour before serving--enough time to warm them up and absorb some flavor, but not so long that they turn to mush.

Garnish with celery leaves (or shaved parmesan cheese, yogurt, fresh parsley, or chives).


cas said...

A shot of soy sauce also gives lentil soup a bit more dimension.

I'm following along in spirit, as I'm not able to follow along in body this year. Blessings on you and Mr. Neff in your practice.

Sarah said...

I am a vegetarian and my husband and I try to stick to an average of $60 per week in groceries all year round. I have found that international recipes help keep the flair going... One neat resource is Operation Rice Bowl who include recipes in their Lenten series encouraging Catholics to fast in solidarity with those who hunger.

Paul said...

Growing up with an Italian mother, lentil soup was a staple and sort of soul food. Love it.