I tend to get cold, especially in the winter 🙂 It’s snowing right now, which is WONDERFUL but also a little chilly! A steaming bowl of soup feels like a simple luxury to be very grateful for, and this one is yummy, healthy, and easy and very special to me. At my bridal shower (which was beautiful, delicious, happy, sparkly, peaceful, and SO FULL OF LOVE!!), my Maids of Honor and Mom put together a cookbook full of mostly-handwritten recipes, one from every guest. My MOH/BFF J wrote down this yummy soup recipe in my bridal cookbook!
A little background on J- we went to college together, with 2 of my other BFFs/MOHs. P.S. I know it’s a little juvenile to use terms like BFF and MOH, but we can be a little juvenile sometimes. We even jump up and down when we haven’t seen each other for a long time.
Anyway… J is my personal guide to natural consumerism. She consults on my compost. She cheers on my garden. She knows all kinds of cool ways to help the planet. And she knows her way around a vegetable – or, in this case, a bean (I thought lentils were legumes, too!). Between her loyalty to farmers’ markets, her unused microwave, her wicked impressive sustainability-related career and academic achievements, my girl J is a true renaissance woman. Plus she has her own rockin’ and highly intelligent radio show.
So from J’s kitchen comes this (as she titled it in my bridal cookbook) Yummy, Healing Red Lentil Soup. It truly is soooo yummy, and feels healing in the way that only hot soup can be, but it’s also SO good for you! First of all, lentils improve heart health, boost energy, the list goes on! Not to mention cumin, the stinky superherb that’s absolutely perfect for those of us who had a little too much _________ (pick your poison, my point is that my pants are a little tight these days. Anybody else??) over the holidays. Why is cumin so perfect for us over-indulgers/healthy people? Cumin aids in digestion, helps relieve stress/anxiety, helps remove toxins from the body, boosts the immune system, helps prevent premature aging, and fights viral infections. I’ll admit, I haven’t always reached or the cumin, and I’ve even been known to wrinkle my nose when my husband cooks with it. But the thing is, it’s REALLY good in this soup! and I learned how good it is for me (even more good stuff here) so now it’s a more frequent spice star at our house!
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So, if you’re still not sure, here’s my last chance to bring you into the beautiful circle of Yummy Healing Red Lentil soup. It’s yummy, it’s healing in so many ways, it fills you up and makes a lot of soup (perfect for an easy lunch!) AND my husband loved it! I hope you enjoy as much as we did 🙂
I’m a fan of mis-en-place cooking, and this is my scratched-up cutting board for stinky things like garlic and onions. I only cut veggies or non-stinky/non-raw meat on my wooden cutting boards!
Yummy Healing Red Lentil Soup
1 large red onion, finely chopped (2 cups – I substituted yellow onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 tbsp.)
1 1/2 cups red lentils
1 15 oz can chopped tomatoes (with liquid)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar (I substituted apple cider vinegar because I had it and it was still yummy!)
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp. ground cumin
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté 5 minutes, or until soft.
2. Stir in red lentils and cumin, and cook 1 minute, or until cumin is fragrant and lentils are covered in oil.
3. Stir in tomatoes with liquid, honey, bay leaves, and 7 cups of water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
4. Cover pan, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes or until lentils are soft and falling apart, and soup is thick. Add a little water to thin soup if necessary.
5. Remove bay leaves and stir in vinegar. Voila!
We’re lucky enough to have our own little potted bay tree so I used homegrown bay leaves 🙂
I always love to hear from you – let me know what you think! Thanks for reading and being a part of this community 🙂