Lentil Tomato Soup – “soup for all my friends”

lentilsoup4A couple of weeks ago my son started begging for soup, why in the heat wave we were in he wanted soup is beyond me. I finally had time to make this soup just in time for a sabbath dinner, and he couldn’t have been happier, especially since that day he came home from daycare proudly informing me I would be making soup for all his friends. Oh really? Little does this little man know but I actually have a recipe for this soup that serve his entire class. Unfortunately for him I do not have enough pots to make 24 servings of soup! Nor does the school actually expect this soup to arrive. He was convinced however and that was adorable and flattering. You may have seen the stories about this soup all over my Facebook and twitter, its been quite the hit at our table. We even had this with artichokes that first night. The artichokes deserve their own post, that was an interesting adventure for this naive to artichoke mom!  Lentilsoup2

As far as soups go this takes no time at all to make, 40 minutes cooking time, which means this actually can be made when you get home from work with the right kitchen equipment and ingredients, if  you have a food processor that will chop your veggies for you and you happen to shop somewhere that sells those vacuum pack packages of sweet potato this recipe can be made in no time. The version pictured is made from organic produce and was absolutely delicious but a little more time-consuming because 2 cups of carrots meant an entire bag of small organic carrots and that’s  A LOT of peeling awkward carrots!

lentilsoup3Nothing frustrates me more than a recipe with cup measures of vegetable that can be measured in units, How on earth do I know if I need more celery or if those last 2 stalks will be enough?! For this recipe: see the sweet potatoes above? 1 whole potato (it was very large) was enough. that entire onion went in the soup, as did 3 celery stalks, that whole bag of carrots went in and you would never have known it.

This is a variation on a  recipe I got from a dietician.  I have no idea where she got the original recipe, but I can eat this for until my body starts screaming about the lentil overload. This is fantastically allergy-friendly too which makes it a great soup for a pot-luck.

Serves: 12                         Prep time: 20 min                          Cooking time: 40 min

Ingredients:

1 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced onions
2 cups diced celery
3 cloves of garlic
7 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup water or tomato/vegetable juice
1 28oz can no-salt added diced tomatoes (with juice)
2 cups dried green lentils
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups sweet potatoes (diced)
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
pinch nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
8 oz baby spinach

Method:

Heat oil in a stock pot or 2 large pots, add onion, garlic and celery, cook for 5 min or until softened
Add all other ingredients except the spinach. bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 30min stirring occasionally.
Add the spinach, stir and cook 5 more minutes.

We usually enjoy this with a fresh Montreal-style bagel.

For Baby: omit the salt, use an immersion blender to puree if needed but if you cut your veggies up small enough it should not be necessary.

For the kids: cool down a hot soup by dumping in a table-spoon or two of frozen peas, a few more veggies never hurt and then you aren’t watering down the soup with an ice-cube.

Make Ahead: This is completely freezable, it keeps for a good 3-6 months in the freezer and its even better after its had some time to sit. My kids like this soup fresh but from the freezer its eaten like I served them liquid gold. It keeps 5 days in the fridge.

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