So, we’ve had a REALLY mild spring so far. Actually, it’s been down right warm. But Sunday it turned “cold” again, so I wanted to make soup. The best thing about soup is that it’s filling and REALLY difficult to mess up. You can pretty much do anything and it will still turn out. The only thing I caution about is the salt content. I use vegan bullion, which is essentially salt. I would not add salt to the soup until you allow the bullion to dissolve. There are many iterations of this soup. This version doesn’t have spinach or parmesan in it. Feel free to adjust to your tastes.
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 2 (or more) cloves garlic
- 1 small or 1/2 large onion
- 2-3 celery stalks
- 2 medium carrots (or a bunch of baby carrots)
- 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes (or three large tomatoes diced)
- 1 cup dry lentils (rinsed and picked over for stones)
- 1/2 cup cracked wheat
- 2 tsp dry thyme
- 9 cups water with 3 bullion cubes or 9 cups veggie broth
In a pot, heat olive oil while chopping onion and garlic. Add to the pot when the oil is hot. Allow these to cook until the onion has become translucent (5ish minutes). While this is cooking, chop your celery and carrots. This is a rustic soup, so don’t worry about having a uniform chop. Add the carrots and celery to the onions and garlic. Allow the veggies to cook for another 5ish minutes. While these are cooking, chop your tomatoes if you are using whole ones rather than canned. Add the tomatoes to the pot and allow them to break down a bit. Finally, add your nine cups of water and bullion cubes, thyme, and lentils. I added my cracked wheat at this point. If you cook the soup for an hour or so, the cracked wheat might get a little mushy. But, I didn’t care, so I just added the wheat with the lentils and the liquid. Allow the soup to simmer on low for half an hour to an hour. That’s it!
Some variations: If you have any leftover parmesan cheese rind, you might want to add that into the soup while it’s cooking to give a bit more flavor. Or just sprinkle a bit of parm on the soup itself. I added some nutritional yeast (vegan version of parm cheese) and some red pepper flakes. Again, a lot of lentil soups call for spinach as well. If you are using frozen spinach, remember to drain it well. If using fresh baby spinach, I would add in during the last 5 to 1o minutes of cooking.