This soup is ideal if you, like me, are trying extra hard these days not to waste food, especially fresh produce. I love this recipe because it is super flexible. Just use whatever vegetables you have on hand and the same goes for the cream or milk (or non-dairy milk alternative) addition near the end. Lentils are a great source of protein, making this soup both nutritious and delicious. Feel free to jazz it up with other ingredients – a teaspoonful of curry powder would be terrific, for example. Leftover soup freezes really well; just be sure to reheat gently.
- 4 cups (1 L) peeled, chopped carrots, sweet potato and/or squash (or a combination)
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive or canola oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) each salt and pepper
- 1 cup (250 mL) split red lentils
- 5 cups (1.25L) chicken or vegetable stock or water
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) sour cream, plain yogurt, whipping cream, milk or coconut milk
- Optional garnishes: croutons, crispy chickpeas, chopped fresh herbs, herbed oil, etc.
- Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, toss together carrots or squash, garlic, onions with 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of the olive or canola oil. Transfer to the baking sheet and spread out in a single layer. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over top.
- Roast for 25 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and turning brown in places. Remove from oven.
- While vegetables are roasting, put the lentils in a sieve and run your fingers through them to remove any stones or other debris, then rinse thoroughly under cold running water.
- In a large, heavy-duty pot, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add lentils and stir to coat, then add roasted vegetables and any accumulated liquid along with stock or water and nutmeg. Increase heat to bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 – 20 minutes, until lentils are tender.
- Remove pot from the heat. Let cool slightly then puree using a blender, food processor or immersion (stick) blender until smooth. Return to pot (if needed) then stir in sour cream, yogurt, cream or milk, thinning with more milk, water or stock until it reaches a consistency you like. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve warm with any garnishes you like.
Makes 4 - 6 servings; recipe can easily be halved or doubled.