I will admit, when I made this red lentil soup I was a little worried. After quite a few healthy cooking mishaps, I was hesitant. I made this soup from the cookbook Healthy Starts Here: 140 Recipes That Will Make You Feel Great by Mairlyn Smith published by Whitecap Books and put it in a wee little bowl to photograph and then eat. How pleasantly surprised was I!
And yes, it is still cold and dark and dreary here so I am still making soup to help keep me warm. It was 9C when I went out to get groceries yesterday, fighting against the wind and sleet. I could weep but instead I will show you how to make this warming soup so everyone else can file it away and make it next fall.
I made half the recipe but will write it out in full which makes eight cups of soup. Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and then 2 diced onions and 1 cup (3 stalks) of celery. Saute five minutes.
Add 4 large cloves of minced garlic, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp ground allspice and 1 tsp finely grated ginger. Saute 1 minute.
Add 4 cups of lower-sodium broth (I had some homemade chicken and topped it up with beef), 1 cup of water, 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, 1 cup of dried red lentils (rinsed and drained) and 8 dried apricots, coarsely chopped. I had some canned tomatoes in the freezer which I thawed and broke up in the pot. I also had some Parmesan rinds that I threw in there out of soup-making habit.
Bring to a boil, reduced heat, simmer covered stirring occasionally for 35-40 minutes.
Remember the tiny bowl at the beginning of the post? I ended up having three bowls of soup that first day! The next day I heated it up and made sure to get out a much bigger bowl and finish off the soup. I was worried it was going to be too sweet from the apricots but no, not at all. In fact I loved all the different textures and the flavouring was perfect.
So warming, healthy and delicious, Mairlyn Smith is right, this is a recipe that makes you feel great! See, I told you healthy could be yummy and here is the proof. Lentils are so good for you and it is so smart she added turmeric to help add colour and keep us healthy. Few spices are better for you and this is just a big bowl of good health that I will make again. I give this recipe five out of five wooden spoons.