John’s Spicy Lentil Soup

lentil soup - trust in kim

lentil soup - trust in kim

 

My good friend John made this soup for me a while back. We both wanted to eat something pretty healthy and warming, and something that wouldn’t take too long to cook. Don’t be afraid of the word ‘spicy;’ it has a only hint of chill, but loads of flavour.

John’s recipe is vegan, using vegetable broth, but I used chicken broth and added some chicken pieces that I had left over. Both versions are super tasty. I also used less olive oil; the original recipe says 3 tablespoons and I used about one.

The recipe is from the Food Network.

What you need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (or ground if that’s what you have)
  • 1/2 cup green lentils
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1 small dried chili, crushed
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • leftover chicken, shredded or diced (optional)
  • salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

What you do:

  1. Drizzle the oil in a large pot and sauté the onion on medium heat until golden.
  2. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for 2-3 more minutes, until the garlic is golden.
  3. Add the stock, lentils, chili, carrots, celery, bay leaves and optional chicken to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
  4. Uncover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Add the vinegar, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

Thanks for the recipe John!

John Cloutier - trust in kim
Chef John

Lentil Bacon Soup

trust in kim- lentil bacon soup

I’m not usually a fan of canned soups, but my friend Sarah recently introduced me to Baxter’s Lentil and Bacon soup, and I thought it was pretty yummy.  It inspired me to make up my own lentil bacon soup.  I’ve made lentil soup before, but I like that in this one the lentils are pureed, and the little bit of bacon adds a lot of flavour.  It’s pretty easy to make, and just takes a bit of time to cook the lentils.

What you need:

3/4 cup green lentils, uncooked

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1/2-1 cup dry white wine

about 1-2 cups water

2 stalks celery, chopped

3 carrots, in about 2 cm chunks

1 large potato,  in about 2 cm chunks

1 leek, sliced into rounds and rinsed

4 whole cloves garlic

salt and pepper to taste

5-6 slices of bacon

What you do:

1. Put the lentils in a large pot with lots of water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 50 minutes.

2. Fry the bacon and let it cool on paper towel. Chop the bacon once it has cooled.  I use a cast iron pan with a large capacity so I can add a lot more ingredients to it after frying the bacon.  If you don’t have a frying pan large enough just do the next steps involving the vegetables, then transfer to the pot that you cooked the lentils in, which should be large enough to hold everything.

3. Remove most of the bacon fat from the frying pan. Chop the carrot, celery, leek and add it to the frying pan.  Add the whole garlic cloves .  Cook for about five minutes, stirring from time to time.  Add the chopped potatoes.  Now add the chicken stock and wine, along with enough water to cover the vegetables, and simmer until the vegetables are tender.

4. When the lentils are very soft you can drain them and add them to the vegetables and broth.  I actually pour it all into the pot that the lentils were cooked in. Continue to simmer until all the veggies are tender.

5.  Puree everything with an immersion blender or wait until it has cooled a bit and whiz it in a blender until it is smooth.

6. Stir in the chopped bacon, then add salt and pepper to taste.

This soup freezes well!

Lentil Vegetable Soup with Yogurt

This colourful soup is packed with nutritious veggies and plenty of flavour.  There aren’t many seasonings, but this soup gets its flavour from the vegetables, especially the browned onions.  A dollop of plain yogurt as you’re serving finishes it off perfectly!

What you need:

1 large onion, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cloves, sliced

1 leek, sliced

1 red pepper, diced finely

1 fennel bulb, diced finely

2 carrots. grated

1 parsnip, grated

1/2 jalapeno with seeds, finely diced

4-5 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 cup red lentils

salt and pepper, to taste

yogurt

What you do:

1.  Heat the olive oil in a large pot and cook onions until slightly browned.

2.  Add the garlic and leek and cook for a few more minutes.

3.  Add the rest of the vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes.

4.  Add the broth and lentils and cook for about 30 minutes, simmering on low.

5.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve with a dollop of  plain yogurt.

Carrot Lentil Soup with a hint of coconut

I started out making a completely different soup, trying out a new recipe, and part way in I thought about that bit of coconut milk I had in the fridge.  So I forgot about the recipe,added the coconut milk, and ended up with this lovely soup.  It’s only a bit of coconut milk, so it’s not the main flavour, but it gives a bit of creaminess.

What you need:

3 rashers bacon

1 onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, sliced

1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes

1 teaspoon garam masala

2 large carrots, grated

3-4 cups chicken stock (or turkey)

3/4 cup lentils

3/4 cup coconut milk

salt and pepper

What you do:

1. Fry bacon until crispy; place on paper towels to soak up the excess fat, and chop once it is cool.

2.  Heat the oil in a pot then add the onions, cooking until slightly browned.  Add garlic, carrots, chilli flakes and garam masala.  Cook for a few minutes.

3.  Add bacon and lentils, then pour in the chicken stock.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook until the lentils are cooked, about 40 minutes.

4.  Add coconut milk, and season to taste.  you may not need to add much salt, as the bacon will give it a bit of saltiness.

Options for serving:  top with a bit of yogurt or squeeze a bit of lime on top.