My sister makes delicious vegetarian and vegan soups, and one of her favorites for the winter season is red lentil. I make my version using cumin-spiced vegetable broth thickened with cooked red lentils and tofu and lots of garlic and onion. It’s hearty, healthy, and most importantly, tasty! You’ll discover that the red lentils actually turn a shade of yellow-orange when cooked (pictured below), and that the soup actually gets its red color from the addition of some zesty tomato paste. I just made a big pot of this beautiful soup tonight for dinner with some toasted onion rolls, and saved some of the leftover cooked lentils to make a red lentil dip later this week (Dip Tip: After you cook the lentils, just drain them through a fine-mesh sieve until mixture is thick but not completely dry, reserving some of the cooking stock liquid to adjust the consistency to your liking, and simply add the cooked lentils along with the other ingredients listed below to a food processor). Enjoy!
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup dried red lentils
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup soft tofu, drained and dried
1 tablespoon dried cumin
1 tablespoon minced roasted garlic
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or coconut oil works nicely)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper pepper
2 small onion rolls (for dunking)
1. Wash lentils and dry.
2. Bring the vegetable stock and lentils to a boil in a medium saucepan. Then, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the lentils are soft, approximately 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, then the onion, and cook for approximately 3 – 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
4. Stir the onion and garlic mixture into the lentils and season with cumin and salt and pepper. Continue simmering until the lentils are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes.
5. Add the tomato paste an tofu to the saucepan. Then, using a hand blender, carefully puree the soup until smooth an creamy. Taste and adjust the amount of salt, pepper and cumin to your liking.
6. Toast up two small onion rolls to enjoy with the soup.