Winter is all about the soups for me. I love filling my floating home with the scents and warmth of long-simmering yumminess. While my husband will never-ever give up beef, I could probably be a pescatarian. Most likely, when we are cruising we’ll probably rely mostly on fresh seafood, fruits and veggies, so I’ll be a happy camper.
Lentils are dried and easy to store. They and chick peas are a great source of protein, making them a great meat alternative. They are also full of iron, which is sometimes lacking in vegetarian diets. Other vitamins include B, magnesium, zinc and potassium, as well as containing fiber.
I made this thick, filling soup for the regulars at the tavern where I bartend, who are not the most discriminating of eaters. It was gobbled up before they realized that it was healthy! I also made it for a dear, sick vegan friend who declared it delicious. Enjoy!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced (about 1.5 cups)
- 1 cup red lentils
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 14 ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 14 ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
- 1/2 red chili pepper, finely diced (seeds removed if you don’t like it too spicy)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3 green onions, sliced thinly
- In a pot, saute onions in olive oil until slightly browned.
- Stir in lentils and cook for 1 minute.
- Add vegetable stock, tomatoes and chickpeas and combine.
- Bring to a gentle boil.
- Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes (lentils should be soft).
- Turn off heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes. (This is really, really important! If you don’t let it cool and fill the blender too full, it WILL explode and make a big mess as you can see from the picture above!)
- Transfer mixture to blender and puree in batches. (If mixture is too thick, add a few tablespoons of water.)
- Return pureed mixture to pot.
- Add salt, pepper and smoked paprika and mix well.
- Heat over low until warmed through.
- Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired.
- Ladle into four bowls and served with sliced green onions.