Spiced Vegetarian Lentil Soup is a healthy and delicious vegan and vegetarian soup scented with warm spices.
Today is “reveal day” for Group B of the Secret Recipe Club, created by Amanda of Amanda’s Cookin. So far, everything I’ve tried for the Secret Recipe Club has come out really well, including Baked Portobello Mushroom Fries, Anzac Cookies, and Seven-Layer Dip. This club has grown so rapidly that Amanda has created four different groups that have a different reveal day during each month. I am part of Group B, hosted by Tina of Moms Crazy Cooking. The idea behind the Secret Recipe Club is to give bloggers the chance to try each other’s recipes without the other bloggers knowing it until everyone posts their results.
This month I was assigned to Theresa of Island Vittles. Theresa lives a life that I dream of (more often than not lately!). You see, I live in a community full of type “A” personalities, and as the years have gone on, at the end of each summer, I dread returning to all the craziness of sports and academics. Watching all the over-the-top coaches and “helicopter” parents on the sidelines, I seriously wonder where all this is leading the next generation to.Which leads me to Theresa of Island Vittles…who lives on Pender Island, a small island on the west coast of British Columbia with a population of about 2000 people. Although she grew up with a passion for food, Theresa started off in business school and worked at Fedex before she realized her true dream was cooking. Eight years ago, she moved to Pender Island for a more peaceful, less stressful life. On Island Vittles, not only will you find a nice variety of recipes, but island stories as well about Theresa’s life on Pender Island. Her latest post with a video of their annual Fall Fair will give you a better idea of what it’s like to live on Pender Island.
As I looked through Island Vittles’ recipe index, I spotted a Red Lentil Soup recipe and knew that I had to try it. Red lentils are one of my favorite legumes in soups. They break down and become creamy when cooked long enough. Last year, I made a simple Red Lentil Soup and taught seniors how to make it during a series of soup classes. Theresa’s lentil soup recipe uses lots of spices, including cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon, right up my alley.
As Theresa suggested, I pureed this lentil soup into a smooth blend instead of leaving it chunky. I used an immersion blender at first, but ended up putting the soup into a blender to get it extra smooth. This soup was pretty spicy (I love it hot!) so if you’re not into heat, halve the cayenne pepper.
I served this Spiced Lentil Soup with some coconut milk to take away some of the heat. To add some texture and interest to the soup (and to make it more photo friendly), I took an idea I found in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table cookbook and topped the soup with a contrasting garnish – crunchy apples and toasted walnuts. Apparently in France, a bowl of soup is accompanied by some crunchies in the bottom of the bowl before pouring the soup, or on top of the soup.
Spiced Vegetarian Red Lentil Soup
This soup is fairly spicy and quite thick, so halve the cayenne pepper for a milder soup, and add more stock if you like. I would highly recommend drizzling some coconut milk and sprinkling some crunchy apples and toasted walnuts on top.
Spiced Vegetarian Lentil Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup leek chopped
- 1/2 cup celery diced
- 1/2 cup carrot diced
- 3/4 cup yam diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 cup red lentils rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups low sodium vegetable stock
- sea salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- coconut milk
- chopped apples
- toasted walnuts
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Sweat the leek, celery, carrot and yam until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, lentils, spices, bay leaves and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add vegetable stock, increase heat to medium high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and the lentils are breaking apart.
Remove from heat, remove bay leaves and use an immersion blender or blender to puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Garnish with coconut milk, chopped apples and toasted walnuts.
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