Saturday, April 14, 2012

Smokey Lentil Soup

Lentil soup is a staple in my kitchen. I love that you can buy the dried beans that keep indefinately and that the ingredients are usually what I have on hand. In fact, it's so basic, that it's different almost every time I make it, depending on what is available. Sometimes it has carrots and potatoes, sometimes it has celery, and the herbs are always different; so whereas I usually use parsley, this time I used cilantro. Sometimes I put lemon in it, other times I use vinegar, and then I get the hankering to add liquid smoke. Keep it simple, put in what you have, it will be good either way.

Lentil soup was not something I grew up on. It wasn't until about the time my husband was in paramedic school and we had two very small children that it first made an appearance. Of course, at that time it was probably in the canned form, straight from the grocery store. How far my culinary skills have come since then, based partly that during that time we had to figure out how to eat healthy and on a very small budget.

So first went sodas, then boxed foods and then canned foods, again, partly because of money, or lack thereof.  but mostly because I was starting my own whole-food revolution.  I am amazed at the transformation that was made at that time and have been proud to see my children grow up to love things like lentil soup.


1 lb. of dried lentils
1 box vegetable broth
4 cups water
4 carrots, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
salt to taste.

Saute the onions and carrots in a bit of olive oil until the onions are starting to turn brown and crispy around the edges. Then add in the spices and stir until fragrant, about a minute.

Add in the broth, water, lentils, liquid smoke and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 20-30 minutes. Salt to taste.

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