In my family, I am known for creating excellent and healthful soups. I love to bake, but I am skilled at soups. Most famous is my potato soup, which is also my favorite.

However.

Last night, in an effort to create a filling, healthy dish that would keep for a week or so, and be cheap, I created a Lentil Soup. Back when I lived in Huntington I had a ritual called Lentil Mondays. My favorite history professor always cooked lentils on Mondays so that she came home to comfort food that was even good for her. Once I discovered the joys of lentils, I decided Lentils Monday was an excellent ritual to have. It became a thing: Cait would come over and help, and often a friend or two as well. I always made the best lentil dish I knew that time: curried lentils and sweet potatoes, which remains one of my favorite foods I’ve ever made.

Then I moved, and lost a lot of the life-sustaining habits I’d had in Huntington, like seeing my sister all the time. Eventually this lack of/need for these habits overwhelmed me, and last night I found myself inventing a recipe for Lentil Soup.

Ingredients:
2 large potatoes
3 med-large carrots
1 medium onion
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes with the juice
4-5 cloves garlic
About 6-8 cups of vegetable or chicken broth-I used chicken bouillon because it was cheaper
About 1.5 cups of lentils
2 T vegetable oil, but if I’d had it I would have used olive
About 1 t cumin
About 3/4 t garam masala
About 3/4 t ground savory

1. Finely dice the onion, slice the garlic thinly, and get the carrots into something like inch cubes/chunks.
2. Heat the oil on medium, then add the onions and carrots. Sweat these until the onions are just translucent, then add the garlic. Cook for just a minute more.
3. Add the cumin and garam masala, and cook for 30 seconds to a minute, stirring so you don’t let the spices scorch.
4. Add the tomatoes and tomato juice. Stir everything together and let cook for a few minutes until the tomato juice has reduced a bit.
5. Add the potatoes, lentils, and broth. Stir, and let simmer until all the veg and the lentils are done, about 30-45 minutes.

The best thing about soups is how easy they are to alter and scale–this could easily be a soup that feeds 10 people, just as it it easily kept vegetarian or vegan. I can only dream of how delicious it would be if I had used homemade vegetable broth. To make it more hearty and filling in the winter, add a half cup of barley or rice.

As it is, the soup was amazing. It somehow tasted rich and buttery, and was so filling I couldn’t even finish a whole bowl. We ate it with sauteed garden veggie tempeh, which was perfect when you had a sip of broth and a bite of tempeh.

If anyone makes this or some version of it, let me know how it turns out and what you think!

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