Lentil soup is one of my favorite comfort foods, and since it’s healthy, cheap, and easy to make, I’ve created two different versions just in the last couple of months (even though it’s 100 degrees outside).
Spiced Lentil Soup #1 (chunky version)
- Sautee 1 chopped onion, 4 cloves of garlic (chopped), 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (grated or finely minced), and 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper.
- Add 2 tablespoons berberi (available in African markets or specialty spice shops. If unavailable, sub extra curry powder) and 1 tablespoon curry powder. Stir and cook for a minute. Do not burn.
- Add 1 cup of lentils, 8 cups of veggie broth (or 8 cups of water + 3 veggie bouillon cubes), 3 carrots (chopped), 3 celery stalks (chopped), 1 potato (cubed), and 1/2 cup of raw cashews (halved).
- Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the veggies and lentils are tender. Add 2 cups of baby spinach and the juice of one lemon. Heat until the spinach is just wilted. Enjoy!
The lentils, spinach and cashews are all good sources of iron, and the vitamin C from the lemon juice and carrots helps you absorb the iron.
Spiced Lentil soup #2 (Sweet version)
- Instead of a potato, use a sweet potato (peeled).
- Omit the cashews and spinach.
- After cooking, puree with an immersion blender (or use a regular blender/food processor, but for the love of God, please be careful when pouring hot liquid). You want to puree it just until most of the veggies are incorporated but you still have the texture of a lot of the lentils.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of antioxidants and have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes.
- Onion: $0.33
- Garlic: $0.20
- Ginger: $0.25
- Spices: We’ll say about $0.50
- Lentils: $0.35
- Carrots: $0.25
- Celery: $0.75
- Sweet Potato: $0.66
- Lemon: $0.50
=$3.79/6 servings (for Variation #2)
=$0.63/serving! I love it!!!
Another bonus is that lentil soup freezes really nicely (but it’s rare that I don’t eat it all within a few days).