It’s soooo cold here! (read: below 75 degrees) So, I’ve been really into soups lately, if you can’t tell.
Earlier this week I got an email from Lindsay with a red lentil soup recipe that she had found on Bodyrock.tv (link may be NSFW) and it looked scrumptious! Seeing that I had a big bag of red lentils in my cupboard, I had to make it.
I made a few changes to amp up the flavor a bit and I have to say it turned out really, really well. Serve it with some hearty bread (or pita like in the pictures) to make sure that you have complete proteins. Legumes + grains = all of the amino acids that you need.
Make sure you get red lentils and not brown or green for this recipe. Red lentils break down very quickly when cooked which is what makes this stew thick and hearty! Even though I probably over paid for these red lentils, can you believe how inexpensive this is? I mean, WOW.
Vegan Red Lentil Stew
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.24
- 1 medium yellow onion $0.28
- 2 cloves garlic $0.16
- 3 oz. tomato paste $0.26
- 1 cup dry red lentils $1.20
- ½ lb carrots $0.55
- 1 medium potato $0.49
- 6 cups vegetable broth** $0.78
- 1 Tbsp cumin $0.15
- 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
- ¾ tsp salt $0.05
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Cook both in a large pot with olive oil over medium heat until soft and transparent (about 5 minutes). Add the tomato paste and continue to stir and cook for about 3-4 minutes more. The tomato paste will caramelize during this time, which will make it sweeter and cause it to look slightly darker.
- While the ingredients in the first step are cooking, peel and dice the potato and carrots. Rinse the lentils. Once the tomato paste has caramelized, add the carrots, potato, and lentils to the pot.
- Also add 6 cups of vegetable broth, cumin, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. Give everything a good stir to make sure it’s mixed well. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and bring the soup to a boil. As soon as it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to its lowest level and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes.
- After it has simmered for 30 minutes give the pot a stir and add the salt, starting with ½ teaspoon. Add more if desired. I used about ¾ teaspoon total. Serve hot!
Step By Step Photos
As always – dice the onion, mince the garlic. Cook both with olive oil over medium heat until soft.
Once the onions are soft, add the tomato paste. It will start out very bright red like this. (Don’t toss the rest of the tomato paste in the can, it can be frozen and used later).
Continue to stir and cook the tomato paste with the onions for 3-4 minutes. It will get a little dry and turn a deeper shade of red. That’s what you want. Make sure to stir often (although continuously is not necessary).
While all of that is going on, peel and dice the potato and carrots. I used a half pound of carrots, which is about 3-4 medium carrots or half of that bag.
Also, as with any dry bean product, make sure to give the lentils a good rinse. They’re so small that they’d slip through the slits in my colander, so I used a wire mesh sieve.
Add the potatoes, carrots, and lentils to the pot.
Add six cups of vegetable broth, cumin, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. Stir everything well to make sure the tomato paste is dissolved in. Put a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and let it come to a boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to the lowest setting and let it simmer there for 30 minutes (with the lid on).
After it has simmered for 30 minutes, the lentils will have soaked up a lot of the liquid and gotten all nice and soft. Stir everything together. Add the salt, starting with just 1/2 teaspoon, give it a taste, and then add more if desired.
Quite hearty and delicious!