Each night becomes a bit more chilly, the crispy wind is starting to wisp around us and the sun is setting at 4 p.m. As Jon Snow would say, winter is coming – and it’s definitely crept up on most of us. One solution to conquer cold fingers and a sniffly nose is to make a bowl of vegan lentil soup, which only takes a few common ingredients and a small chunk of time.
Whether one is a certified vegan or not, this soup is hearty and filled with lots of veggies, making it a filling meal even without meat. But if having meat seems fundamental to enjoying dinner, one can add precooked sausage to the soup and an extra cup of water to the broth. Although, sticking to the original recipe will save cooks money – as meat is usually more expensive than most veggies – and benefit the environment.
To begin creating the wholesome dinner, check for its main ingredients: vegetable broth, lentils, onion, carrots, potatoes, diced canned tomatoes, garlic, celery, parsley, lemons and green beans. The only unchangeable parts of this recipe are the broth, onion, canned tomatoes and lentils, but otherwise the rest of the ingredients can be left out or have their quantities changed. The great thing about soup is that it’s highly adaptable, so if one cannot find every one of these items in their pantry they can use what they’ve got to make it work.
For seasoning the soup, fresh herbs like thyme and oregano add some amazing flavor to the dish, although they can be pricey. If splurging on a $7 pack of herbs is too much, use dried versions of thyme and oregano and of course, salt and pepper. Adding in cumin really elevates the soup as well. If desiring spicy food, add chili powder or red pepper flakes to add some heat to the soup.
The cooking process is really simple. In a deep pot on medium-high heat, add in a few tablespoons of olive oil to the and throw in the onions, garlic, celery and carrots. Let those carmilize for three to four minutes. Then, add in the tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, lentils and sprinkle on all the seasonings. Then, add in your broth and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover your pot and turn the heat to low. Leave the soup to simmer for about 35-45 minutes and stir every 10 minutes or so while waiting for the lentils to grow.
After about 20 minutes, the house will start to smell earthy and fresh as the soup’s flavors ruminate. Before serving, stir in the parsley and lemon juice and extra seasoning if desired. Then, the wonderful (and sustainable!) bowl of goodness is ready to eat.
The soup will stay fresh if tightly sealed and placed in the refrigerator if there are any leftovers from the meal, and it will last for about a week and a half until the lentils become too soggy.
This vegan lentil soup is sure to defrost any frozen individuals – especially within their hearts!