Lentil Soup reminds me of my Great Uncle Ellery. When I was in middle school, he decided he'd teach me a thing or two about cooking, starting with his special lentil soup. He watched carefully as I cut the vegetables, kept a vigilant eye as I sautéed them, and lectured me about patience as it simmered. Although the recipe has changed over time, per my palate, I still take a minute to thank Uncle Ellery for teaching me the magic of lentil soup.
Lentil soup is really a lifesaver as a vegetarian - like I was at the time that Uncle El taught me his secrets. This recipe is filling, jam-packed with protein, and most importantly, tasty. It is my go-to meal when I am in need of a protein boost and a food hug. It doesn't hurt that this recipe freezes well, making it available when cooking soup just isn't in the cards. For a texture contrast, try it with some french bread.
It all starts with the classic quartet: garlic, onions, carrots, and celery (pass the celery, Ellery). Then you mix the broth with tomato sauce and the protein party begins. The lentils come in, centerstage, dancing to the beat of a simmer. The garbanzos slink in, melting languidly into the background. But wait, who's that? The brown rice makes its entrance, spilling into the pot, expanding and gorging itself on the broth. And look, if you don't want a party in your pot, then why even show up? Spice that fiesta up and leave it bubbling; it's going to be a while.
After all that partying, you're going to need a pick-me-up. Luckily, you've just made one. Pat yourself on the back for being such an excellent planner. Now relax and enjoy your hearty bowl of lentil soup.
Keep your belly full, your mind engaged, and your heart open.
Hearty Lentil Soup
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 2 carrots diced
- ¾ lentils rinsed
- 15.5 oz can of garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
- ½ cup brown rice
- 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- ¼ cup tomato sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon thyme dried
- ½ teaspoon rosemary dried
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne optional
- 2 dashes cinnamon
- 1½-2 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ cup corn frozen
- Heat oil in a large, heavy bottom pot over medium heat
- Add onion, celery, carrots, and 1 teaspoon salt to the pot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes
- Mix in the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds
- To the pot add broth, tomato sauce, lentils, garbanzo beans, and the bay leaf
- Bring soup to a boil, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to low
- Let the soup simmer for 40 minutes
- Mix in the brown rice, rosemary, thyme, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, and black pepper
- Bring back to a simmer, then cover and cook on low for an additional 30 minutes
- Taste soup and adjust seasonings and salt to taste
- Stir in frozen corn and cook for 5 more minutes
- Enjoy now or freeze for later