Here’s the deal. This soup is good. Like really good. It’s got all the right things in all the right places: it’s sweet courtesy of a medium sweet potato (large if you’re feeling extravagant), salty and earthy from kosher salt and cumin, and colorful from the handful (or two) of spinach you add in at the end. It’s also full of fiber. Like beware-if-you-eat-too-much-of-it levels of fiber. Don’t let that scare you off though. It’s worth it.
Lentil soup is an easy one for the Vegend and me. He doesn’t mind swapping out vegetable stock for chicken stock (really, who could tell?) and it provides a stick-to-your-ribs feeling that, say, a bolognese might (I guess). It also freezes well in case we need a last minute dinner.
It’s an excellent recipe to play around with; in my opinion, most soup recipes are. Fiddle with the spices, the veggies, the herbs to create flavors all your own. We typically use low sodium or no salt vegetable stock so we can control the saltiness.
Do your best to chop things up as described but don’t worry all that much. This is a soup best left chunky.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup peeled and chopped carrot (about 3 small or 2 medium)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed clean
1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes (about 2-3 hothouse or 4 Romas)
2 quarts no salt or low sodium vegetable stock
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 big handfuls of baby spinach (more or less to your preference)
Place olive oil into a large soup pot (the biggest you’ve got, within reason) and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery, sweet potato, and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, about 6 to 7 minutes. Stir occasionally so the veggies don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
Add the lentils, tomatoes, stock, and cumin and stir to combine. Increase the heat to a high and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, about 35-40 minutes.
Turn off the heat and toss in the baby spinach. Stir to distribute evenly. Place the cover back on the pot so the spinach can steam and wilt.
Freeze your leftovers for lunch or dinner next week.