Red Lentil Vegetable Soup

This is a basic soup. It is easy to prepare in advance and can be modified with whatever vegetables you have on hand. The key is preparing the mirepoix–which is chopped onions, celery and carrots. Use two parts onion to one part celery and carrots. A vegetable mirepoix creates the ideal foundation for many plant-based soups.

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Ingredients 

1 ½ cups dry red organic lentils

4+ cups cold water

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery sticks diced (with leaves)

2 pinches of sea salt

1 medium to large onion, diced

1 ½ cups vegetable stock (or 1 vegetable bullion dissolved in 1 ½ cups water)

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon ground coriander

¼ (or less) teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions

Rinse lentils in 3 rinses of cold water. In large saucepan, bring water to boil and add lentils and salt. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes—or until lentils are soft. In a separate pot, simmer the mirepoix (onion, celery, carrots) vegetables in just enough water to cover. Cook until vegetables are tender (about 15 min). Add bullion or vegetable stock and cook for 5 more minutes.  Add the mirepoix to cooking lentils. Cover and cook on low for another 10 minutes while adding spices and any additional vegetables, such as chopped kale. Squeeze fresh lemon into soup at end of cooking process.  Serve.

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Small diced carrots, celery, and onions to make a vegetable mirepoix. Also in the background are the dried red lentils.  
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The mirepoix cooking on a low simmer, with just enough water to cover. Adding salt helps to draw flavors out of the vegetables. The mirepoix forms the base for most of my plant-based soups. Happy cooking! 

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