Recipe: Vegan Chickpea and Lentil Soup

Even though it is summer, I still love soup.  Maybe it is due to the mild weather we are having in Tennessee (which I am loving) or maybe because I am always cold inside our house.  Either way, having a warm bowl of soup sounds good!  Soup is such a comfort food and is always great as a leftover.   Like pizza, soup is one of those things that you can use whatever is in the fridge and it always seems to turn out delicious.

For this recipe, I started with a go to lentil soup and added some chickpeas for a little heartier of a soup.  It definitely tastes better the next day – the longer the flavors are allowed to meld – so feel free to make the day or night before.

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Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb lentils, French green
  • 2 Tbs extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
  • 4 c yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (the soup definitely had a kick, so you might want to scale back on the cayenne pepper if you don’t want that much punch)
  • 1 1/2 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 14 oz canned tomato (I would recommend fresh if you have them.  The tomatoes in our garden are not yet ready.)
  • 7 cups water (I would recommend using vegetable broth if you have it on hand.  Otherwise, water works just fine.)
  • 14 oz can chickpeas (feel free to start with dry and pre-cook them if you want.)
  • 1 Tbs raw red wine vinegar

In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water (not the water needed for the base of the soup) and allow to sit for 15 minutes.  Drain.

In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Sauté the onion, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, cumin, and cayenne pepper until the vegetables are translucent and soft.  It is better to lower the heat and sauté them for longer then it is to rush this step.  Let the flavors really develop.  Take your time – around 20 minutes.  Add the carrots and celery and sauté until they begin be tender, another 10 minutes or so.  Pour in the water, canned tomatoes, and lentils.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Once it has reached a boil, uncover and reduce the heat and simmer for an hour or until the lentils are tender.  At this point, add the chickpeas and red wine vinegar and continue to simmer until the chickpeas are hot.

Enjoy!

And if you don’t mind it not being vegan, a little feta cheese sprinkled on top is delicious!

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