“Lentils are friendly—the Miss Congeniality of the bean world.”
~ Laurie Colwin, American Fiction Writer
My confession: I hate peas in a soup! Hate ’em! But, oddly enough, I absolutely love lentils in a soup! Love ’em! The whys and hows are a very long story indeed. But, suffice it to say that when I think hearty and I think vegetable soup, I inevitably think lentils. Gotta have ’em!
To the ancient Greeks, ambrosia was the food or drink of the gods, something that had a lovely scent or flavor an which, when ingested, conveyed immortality. Lentils, with 26% protein, loads of B vitamins, folate and two essential amino acids, will certainly power you up and, when combined with other vegetables, give you the necessary building blocks for a longer and healthier life. The additional herbs and spices in this soup give a most heavenly scent that will tantalize your nose with delight.
As with many of my recipes, I start out with something that is either take-out from a restaurant or a packaged product from the grocery store, and then seek to replicate it with wholesome, healthier ingredients at home. This Lentil Ambrosia Soup recipe was inspired by Amy’s Organic Lentil Soup which, at over $3.00 a can, is somewhat less than economical. Made at home, it is ridiculously economical for how tasty and filling it is. :-)
- Lentil Ambrosia Soup
Makes: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
1.5 – 1.75 cups black or brown lentils
.5 cup chunked or cubed tomatoes
4-6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup warm water
half of a celery stalk, diced
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced in rounds
1 medium onion, diced finely
1 small potato, diced or cubed small
.5 of a zucchini, diced
1 tbs nutritional yeast
1 bay leaf
.25 tsp cumin
.25 tsp turmeric
.25 tsp basil
.25 tsp thyme
.12 (1/8) tsp curry
12 (1/8) tsp black pepper
pinch of chili powder
* salt to taste
* extra water or broth as needed
1. Chop all veggies and measure out all spices.
2. Mix the nutritional yeast into the cup of warm water until dissolved.
3. Bring that water, the bay leaf and 4 cups of vegetable broth to a low boil.
4. Add the potatoes, cover and simmer for 7 minutes.
5. Add the lentils and reduce heat.
6. Simmer for 10 minutes.
7. Add all spices and the remainder of the vegetables, except the zucchini.
8. Simmer for 20 minutes on low. Stirring occasionally.
9. Add zucchini, checking to see if more liquid (e.g. water or vegetable broth) is needed. Add as needed.
10. Simmer 10 minutes or until you deem it done.
11. Re-season to taste and serve.