10 degree weather screams soup. Hearty, warming, cozy, and mmmm, mmmm good, it’s the perfect answer to this wretched cold spell we’re having. The lentil soup I’ve created here will not only warm you and your little ones belly, it will give you an extra-healthy, cold weather-fighting dose of fiber, protein, antioxidants and vitamins. Plus, it’s an ideal dish for family members of any age – see below for a tip on feeding to babies younger than 12 months.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 leek, light green and white parts only, halved vertically and thinly sliced into half moons
- 3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 large celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes (fresh, canned or boxed)
- 1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed (I used green)
- 2 quarts low sodium vegetable broth
- Parmesan cheese for serving, optional
- Place olive oil in a large 6-quart Dutch oven and over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, until softened and translucent. You do not want the onions to brown. Add leek, carrot, celery, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper; cook an additional 5 minutes to combine flavors. Add the tomatoes and lentils and stir to combine. Add 6 cups of the broth and increase heat to high. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 50-60 minutes. Remove bay leaf. With an immersion blender* placed at the bottom of the pot (you do not want it splattering), puree the soup to desired consistency. I do about 50%. Stir in the last 2 cups of broth. Adjust for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if you'd like. Optional: garnish with parmesan cheese. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.
* Babies younger than 12 months: before using the immersion blender, extract a cup or 2 of soup from the pot, strain most of the broth out and add to a food processor. Puree until smooth.