travel & recipes

french lentil soup

It's the season for soups, no doubt, hearthy comforting soups to warm our bodies and calm our minds. One of my favorite soups is this simple lentil soup, it's easy and so delicious.
Like other legumes, lentils are low in fat and high in protein and fiber, but they have the added advantage of cooking quickly and they don't require any soaking (unless you are into sprouting them- extra bonus points for that). Green/ blue lentils are usually the ones I go for, the french ones, they are delicate and take slightly longer then teh flatter brown ones to cook. all lentils should be rinsed and picked through for stones before cooking. Also, they will take longer to cook if they are combined with salt or acidic ingredients, so add these last.

for the soup you will need:

1 medium onion, diced
5-6 cloves of garlic
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 stick of celery
1 small turnip
1 large potato
1 1/2 cup of lentils, picked and rinsed
5-6 cups of chicken, vegetable stock or water
1 tomato, chopped
2 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/2 bunch of cilantro

Start by sweating the onion, carrot, celery and turnip in 2 tablespoons of oil, add black pepper and a pinch of salt just to get some liquid out of the veggies, add garlic, potato and lentils. Add liquid, cumin, paprika, cinnamon and a bay leaf. bring to a boil and lower to simmer. cook for 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the lentils you are using. Keep checking that there is enough liquid in the pot,  the lentils soak up a lot of liquid as they cook and the soup will slowly turn thicker, its up to you to decide how thick you want it to be. Taste a few lentils after the first 40 minutes and see if they are completely cooked and soft, make any adjusting to the flavor if needed, if the lentils are ready add the lemon juice, salt and the chopped tomato, cook for 5-10 more minutes discard the bay leaf and add chopped cilantro.

* to make this a complete meal, and a complete protein, add some fully cooked barley to your bowl and enjoy