I don’t cook a lot but the quickest and fairly healthy soup I make is a red lentil soup from the Kitchn site. It’s nice after a period of serious gorging but still craving something that fills you and gives you comfort during the winter months! You can mix it up a bit with whatever herbs you have, and you can use broth, bouillon cube or water. Sometimes I add a few potatoes and always a bit of kale or spinach. Most important is the hit of lemon juice (or even apple cider vinegar if you don’t have lemons) as the acid makes it an entirely different soup at the end. This is super easy and I cut up the base veggies the night before so I literally just throw it into the pot the next day.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 large stalks celery, diced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1 cup dried red lentils
- 4 cups water or low-sodium broth
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1/2 large lemon)
- For serving: Olive oil, yogurt, or other topping (optional)
- Heat the olive oil. In a medium (2- to 3-quart) saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the carrot, celery, onion, and salt and stir to combine. Cover and let the vegetables sweat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the lentils, water or broth, and bay leaf and bring up to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer, covered, until the lentils begin to fall apart, about 20 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Taste and season with salt as needed. Ladle into bowls and serve with toppings if desired.
Storage: Leftovers will keep refrigerated for 5 days.
More topping options: To perk up the soup just before serving, top it with a drizzle of peppery olive oil, a dollop of plain yogurt, a sprinkle of sumac, or a spoonful of gremolata.
Recipe variations: This recipe is pared down to just the basics — you can certainly add a teaspoon of garam masala, Italian herbs, or any other seasoning blend to spice things up a bit if you like. Just add the spices in along with the lentils and broth.
I’d like to say I fall into the “sandwich generation” – and while I have no children of my own to care for – I find myself falling somewhere in between caring for my mother and caring for my sanity. When I am not working, I have the honour of helping look after my amazing mother, who has suffered 2 strokes in the past 11 years. Being a caregiver is not for the faint of heart, and if I am being honest, it can be a crappy club to be a member of. I have fallen down more times than I care to count through this journey, but while channeling my incredible stubbornness, strength (both of which I come by honestly,) and several F-words (Faith, Family, Friends and Food), I keep getting back up. IG: @Coolman_Eh