This is the perfect recipe for a chilly fall night! Vegan and nut free, this lentil soup is full of vegetables and is perfect to boost immunity. I like to make a big batch and freeze leftovers for an easy weekday lunch.
½ cup dry red lentils
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
2 ribs of celery
¼ cup carrots, chopped
1-2 tsp. fresh ginger, chopped
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
1-28oz can of crushed tomatoes
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
In a small pot, cook lentils in water according to package directions. Cover and let sit once finished cooking or store in the fridge until you are ready to make the soup.
In a large soup pot, add 2-3 Tbsp. of olive oil and heat. Add in onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and ginger. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add in tomato paste and chopped basil. Mix until combined.
Add in bay leaf, Italian seasoning, and additional salt and pepper.
Simmer for 20 minutes until vegetables have started to soften. Stir and add in the lentils. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
Take an immersion blender and blend the soup until it is creamy. A food professor or regular blender will work well too, but add the soup in small batches since it is hot.
Serve warm with fresh basil and a sprinkle of turmeric.
Key Nutrients and tricks:
- This soup is full of fiber from the vegetables and lentils, but if you don’t like lentils, try adding in white beans for that same creamy texture and protein kick.
- Adding the baking soda, an alkaline ingredient, helps to minimize the acidity from the tomatoes!
- When buying canned tomatoes, I look for reduced sodium or salt free. Canned products can be loaded with sodium to maximize their shelf life, so I like to look for cans with reduced amounts so I can control how much salt is added.
- I like to add in fresh ginger for it’s added health benefits! Ginger is a powerhouse when it comes to digestion and relieving nausea. Components in ginger called gingerols have been linked to reducing inflammation and improving pain. In addition, ginger is high in manganese and Vitamin E! If you don’t like ginger, simply leave it out or add in 1/4 tsp of ginger powder instead.
- I have made this recipe with spinach or baby kale mixed in at the end- an extra dose of iron! Try adding in cooked orzo or quinoa for a complex carbohydrate source.