Tag Archives: Quinoa

I heart lentils.

23 Feb

For Christmas this year, i received the Williams Sonoma SOUP cookbook, filled with dozens of different soup recipes. They are not vegan whatsoever; pretty much all the recipes use chicken or beef stock. However, this problem is easy to remedy, by substituting the meat stock with a veggie stock. So many of the soup recipes look delicious, but every time i open the book i gravitate towards the first recipe i tried upon receiving it: the lentil soup recipe.

As a vegan, i try to incorporate lentils in my diet as often as i can. They are super high in protein, and when you make them with a grain (such is the case with this soup, and the addition of quinoa), they are a source of complete protein. As per Wikipedia: “A complete protein (or whole protein) is a source of protein that contains an adequate proportion of all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for the dietary needs of humans or other animals. Some incomplete protein sources may contain all essential amino acids, but a complete protein contains them in correct proportions for supporting biological functions in the human body.” When a dish is high in protein, that’s cool, but when a dish is a complete protein, that is super awesome!

I tinkered with the recipe just a bit, adding quinoa to up the nutritional value, and subbing the veggie broth to make it VEGAN!

Super Delish Lentil Soup

Extra virgin olive oil, to coat pot

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 medium carrots, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons curry powder

2 teaspoons chili flakes

1 cup canned diced tomatoes with their juice

1 1/2 cup lentils* (rinsed)

1 cup quinoa (rinsed)

approx 7 1/2 cups veggie broth

1 lemon, sliced

A handful of spinach

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Coat the bottom of a large soup pot with extra virgin olive oil. Heat the oil on med-high heat. Throw in the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and bay leaf and stir to coat. Cook 5 minutes until fragrant. (The smell of cooking onions = one of my favorite smells…) Add the curry powder and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Throw in the diced tomatoes, lentils, quinoa, veggie broth and lemon slices, and bring to a boil over med-high heat. Once boiling, lower heat to med-low, and cover, stirring occasionally.

After 30 minutes, taste the lentils. If they are soft to the bite, the soup is ready. Take out and discard the lemon slices and bay leaf. Add salt and pepper to taste, throw in the spinach, and stir until the spinach is wilted. Take off heat and serve!

You will notice as the soup simmers that the lentils and quinoa soak up a lot of the broth. If you feel your soup is getting too thick, just add a bit more broth until your preferred consistency, and keep simmering. I personally love thick stews, so in my opinion: the thicker, the better!

*LENTILS: There are so many varieties and colors of lentils. My personal favorites are the green and the reddish pink varieties. The red lentils have an almost meaty consistency to them, and are great thrown in chilis. The green variety have an earthy taste, and in my experience, are the easiest to find in grocery stores. Both these colors lend themselves so well to soups, giving your soup a stew-like consistency and a hearty feel.

When it comes to vegetable broth, i am a firm believer that quality affects the whole recipe. My soups and recipes ALWAYS taste better when i am using a high quality, organic veggie broth (like Pacific Foods), as opposed to veggie broth cubes. While the price of organic, high quality veggie broth is quite a bit steeper than cubes, it’s worth the delicious taste it adds to your food! Quality over Quantity, wut wut!