This is one of our favorites! As soon as the weather get's cold, my partner asks me to make him this hearty soup which is a meal on its own. It's loaded with winter veggies and french lentils which makes this a great low calorie, protein rich meal. I like using french lentils because they hold up to long cooking and don't turn into mush. Try to dice all the veggies so they are them same size, but you can do it however you prefer.
1 large onion
4-5 carrots, peeled
5 celery stalks
1 parsnip, peeled
1 sweet potato, peeled
1 red pepper, seeds and membrane removed
1/2 butternut squash
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups french lentils
1 can tomato paste (6oz /170g)
12 cups chicken stock or water
1/4 tsp red chilly flaked
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tbs dry oregano
1 tbs salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
2 tbs olive oil
1. Rinse the lentils under cold water (in a fine mesh colander) and place into a medium saucepan.
2. Add enough water to cover the lentil about 2 inches. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the lentils and set aside.
3. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onions, carrots and celery in the olive oil about 2-3min. Add the garlic and continue to steer another minute, then add the tomato paste and mix well.
4. Add the remaining vegetables (accept for the cilantro), mix to coat in the tomato paste, and add the chilly flakes, cumin, turmeric, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper.
5. Add the water and steer to incorporate and make sure there are no lumps. Close the lid and let the pot come to a gentle simmer about 20-30 minutes.
6. Add in the lentils and sugar and continue to cook , reducing the heat, for another 20 minutes.
7. Taste the soup and adjust the flavors as needed.
8. Add the cilantro and serve.