Friday, October 22, 2010

Le Petite Brown Lentil Soup

This soup was delicious beyond words.  Really!  I don't know why but this combination of veggies combined with pre-cooked lentils and rice (leftover from making lentil burgers the day before) and simmered together was delectable! I wish I could can it and mass produce it! Well glass bottle it!  Cans leave a yucky taste no matter how wonderful the soup might be. Anyhow put this soup together if you have any love at all for lentils -- these little brown lentils are especially tasty!  The ones I used are the Clic brand.  See sample of dry lentils below for reference.

The croutons are by Fresh Gourmet (organic,seasoned) and are highly coveted in our household. Fresh Gourmet in this case is not misleading as the croutons are indeed fresh and tasty.  Sold in most grocery stores: (Walmart, Safeway, Save-On and Planet Organic come to mind as places I've located them). Make sure to get the croutons labelled "seasoned" if you're looking for vegan as I'm not sure about the others.

For more information on pulses including lots of tips/recipes check out this terrific booklet produced by Pulse Canada.  One little tip:  DO spread your dry lentils on a white plate or paper towel and check for anything that should not be there!  I do a half a cup at a time and more often than not I find a very small clump of dirt.  You might even find a green split pea amongst the brown lentils so do your checking and then rinse well in colander before cooking. I know they say that lentils don't need to be pre-soaked but if you want to shorten the cooking time it's a good idea.  Especially the yellow lentils -- these take way longer than what the package says. And never add salt until they're cooked or that will also impede the progress of them softening sufficiently.

1-2  tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 cup of finely diced green cabbage
1 cup green peas (frozen)
1 sweet potato, diced
1 white potato, diced
1 cup cooked brown lentils
1 cup cooked sushi rice
3 teaspoons veggie broth powder
1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon Vegetarian,
"no chicken base" flavor

Saute onion, cabbage and carrot in olive oil until softened.  Add all the rest of the ingredients along with water to cover. Simmer for 1-2 hours. Add more water as required untill soup is as thick or thin as you prefer.  If you have time 2 hours bubbling on the burner doesn't hurt it at all - I think it just tastes better the longer it slowly simmers.  It smelled wonderful.  I took out a couple of ladles of soup (about a cup) and whirled in the blender and put it back through the soup.  I like to do this as it binds everything nicely together and gives it a little more flavor yet. I'll be doing this one again  - after all the canned lentil soups I've tried (several organic brands included) -- nothing comes even close to tasting as delicious as this simple recipe does.

I like the Harvest Sun Organic veggie broth powder with no yeast added.  This one seems to work best for me. The Better than Bouillon is exceptionally full-flavored -- just be careful to start with a little at a time -- it's very concentrated.  If you have any problems with yeast though this isn't the one for you as it does contain autolyzed yeast as one of the ingredients. I did do a little search on homemade veggie broth powders and I'm thinking I'd like to give this a try once I run out of my store bought stuff.  For the sake of economics as well as more control of the ingredients.  This one sounds good --  minus the celery seed as I'm not fond of that spice.  I'll replace it with another favorite and perhaps add one or two more but generally the idea for a lot of veggie broth powders is to add spices to a base of nutritional yeast.  Poultry seasoning (rosemary, bay leaf, sage, oregano, marjoram, and cumin)  might be a quick & tasty blend to add to base of nutritional yeast. Think I'll see about finding a good  poultry seasoning -- either Frontier or M&B will hopefully have a suitable organic one to purchase.


  1. I love this recipe! I found it on a random internet search for lentil soup. It tastes just like my favorite lentil soup for a middle eastern restaurant in Brooklyn, NY. It has been getting me, and several of my friends, through this terrible winter on the east coast. Thanks!

  2. Cara - you are so welcome! Thank you for your lovely comments about my lentil soup recipe. Makes it worthwhile to keep posting all my attempts in the kitchen. I hope that you are all rewarded with an early spring after struggling through such an unusually brutal winter!