Lentil Soup in 10 Easy Steps

By Ella

       I make lots of soups for lunch, especially when it’s cold. If you have a busy schedule like mine, soups are awesome because you can always freeze it and save for later. I save mine in individual Ball Mason Jars – they’re amazing cuz you can heat your food up in the jar, and then eat right out of the jar. If I’m running late for work (which I usually am), I just grab a frozen jar and & drop it in my bag. It defrosts till lunch & I throw it in the microwave for two quick minutes 🙂 On days when I have a bit more time, I make a sandwich to go along with my soup. Or buy one *shrugs*

    Because I’m insane, I made lentil soup at 6am, today. What took the most time was the chopping, but while this simmered (step 10) I finished my normal morning routine. Lentil soup is one of those things I’d reccommend you try outside of your house first. The color & consistency is a little gross, but I love the taste. I just started liking lentils & I usually get the soup from Pret A Manger.  I’m a soup kinda girl, but I like filling soups –lentils do the job.  Also, there aren’t a lot of soups you can put ham in & I love me some swine, forgive me lol.  

           I got the original recipe off Dominican Cooking –my go-to site if I don’t call my mom. They use pumpkin instead of carrots but… I had what I had. Sometimes you’ve got to create your own dish –something like how my mom told me to throw a pork chop in it. While that sounded good, I didn’t quite understand how to put a pork chop in soup. My mother is amazing, though. lol 

      

Things you need: 

 

1 bag of lentils.

1 onion

3 potatoes

3 carrots

1 sprig cilantro (optional)

1 package cooked ham (optional)

**Fills 6 mason jars, that’s 6 meals 🙂

10 Steps!

 

1. Soak the lentils in water for 2 hours, minimum. 

I left mine overnight, in about 5 cups water.

 

2. Boil lentils for 15 minutes 

 

3. Drain the water, but don’t throw it away

 

4. Chop up 1/4 onion, couple carrots, couple potatoes and ham

 I did 3 of each. You can also sub in the veggie of your choice including pumpkin, yucca, whatever.
 You can also skip the ham if it’s not your thing. Just adds tons of flavor, in my opinion.

 

 5. Heat a pot with about 2 tablespoons of oil. 

 

6. Sauté chopped onion 

until it’s see-through. 

 

7. Add rest of the ingredients 

This includes your chopped veggies, ham.
 You can also add seasoning/sofrito now if you’re Spanish like me. 
They also recommend a sprig of cilantro. 

 

The issue with skipping the “seasoning” is that you don’t get the intense flavor. 
Some people don’t need it, but… my taste buds crave a lil Santo Domingo in every dish. 

 

8. Add 4 cups of water

This is the water you saved from “Step 3”. 
I actually forgot to do the boiling step so I don’t think it’s a huge deal.
 You can use regular water just the same 😉 

 

9.  Simmer over medium heat until all ingredients are cooked through. 

 If you forgot “Step 3” like me, you’ll just have to simmer a bit longer. You’ll know the soup is done when the consistency is thicker. The water shouldn’t be clear. Still, you don’t want it to dry out, so add water as you need to.  This is going to be to your taste, though & to how much caldo/liquid youprefer in your soup. This is actually a “stew” so, it’s supposed to be thick. Doesn’t matter how long you simmer for, as long as you make sure it doesn’t dry out. Left mine on about an hour.
 Just taste it to see if you like it!

 

10. Enjoy!

 

ADDING SALT: I never add salt to my food. I’d rather add it afterwards if it needs it. I had to add some when I ate the soup for lunch today, but it’s easier to adjust a bland soup than a salty one.  
But, if your soup is too salty, adding more potatoes will do the trick 😉 

About the Lentil Plant:

  • Stalk-like plant with a yellow or white flower.

  • Beans grow in pods (2 beans per pod) & come in brown, green, yellow, orange, and red

  • Lentils are about 30% protein –the 3rd highest of any legume or nut following soybeans & hemp.

  • Contains fiber & Vitamin B

  • The plants are relatively tolerant to drought.

  • About 1/4 all lentils come from India

  • In “Cinderella”, her stepmother makes her fetch lentils out of ash & if she does so, she may go to the ball. Cinderella was definitely ballin’ 🙂

My mommy’s Sazón:  In a blender, chop fresh garlic, onion, red pepper, green pepper, cilantro, oregano and any other herb you’d like with about 1 cup of vinegar. This is basically a fresh, chopped version of the dried seasoning you might be sifting onto your food.  The vinegar helps from letting it go bad. Also, using fresh veggies & herbs might give you extra vitamins & just taste better. I don’t have proof for that — or know what it means exactly, but my mom says it & it sounds good. *shrugs* You can season all of your meats with this 🙂

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