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!

Recipe: Lentil Hummus and Summer Vegetable Sandwich

With all the fresh vegetables in season during these summer months, lentils are an easy and delicious accompaniment.  Here is our recipe for Lentil Hummus and Roasted Vegetable Sandwich.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 small onion, finely diced and divided into two parts
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped (keep one clove separate)
  • 3/4 tsp salt, plus a little extra
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs olive oil, plus a little extra
  • 1/4 tsp pepper, plus a little extra
  • 3 Tbs fresh mixed herbs (mint, parsley, cilantro, thyme, or whatever you have on hand – we used a combination of mint and thyme)
  • 2 different summer vegetables such as squash, zucchini, or eggplant, chopped
  • 1 loaf of ciabatta

Turn oven to high on broil.

Rinse the lentils and cover them generously with water in a saucepan.  Bring them to a boil with 1/2 the onion, bay leaf, 1 Tbs garlic, and 1/2 tsp salt.  Once they have reached a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer until they are cooked, about 20 to 25 minutes.  The lentils should be tender, but still a little firm.  Drain the lentils and save the liquid for later to be used as soup stock.

Allow the lentils to cool enough to put in the blender or food processor with the lemon juice, olive oil, pepper, and remaining garlic, onion, and salt.  Blend until there is a thick and smooth consistency.

While the lentils are cooling, place the chopped vegetables on a roasting pan.  Toss lightly with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast in the oven until they are beginning to soften and brown, about 10 minutes or until done.

Mix the fresh herbs with the roasted vegetables.

Cut the ciabatta bread into 6 pieces, sliced in half.  Spread the hummus on one side and then pile high with roasted vegetables.  You will have left over hummus most likely – great with pita chips.  You can also top with slices of heirloom tomatoes and feta cheese crumbles.

Enjoy (and make sure to have napkins…it can get a bit messy)!

Serves 6