What have you been up to lately? I know many of you are still facing not so pretty winter conditions and I think you could use a bowl of lentil soup with a nice topping of caramelized onions. You could probably use a little more than a bowl of hot soup, but I think this is a warm beginning!
I have friends that are moving up north this summer, and everyone pretty much thinks they're crazy to leave the warmth of Florida winters to go right to the depths of winter madness: dealing with snow, digging out snow, snow tires, learning how to drive on icy roads, layers of winter clothing.
And let me tell you this, it is 4 in the morning really if you calculate the time before the time changed yesterday and I can't sleep! So that is why I am up finishing up this post with this really great and so easy to make soup before it is sunny and hot in the rest of the world. Usually that is how it works with my blog. I make something that is appropriate for the season and by the time I get around to editing the photos and putting the post together, it is not quite what you would be dreaming of eating. So before it is popsicle and ice-cream season again, I give you this lovely and simple soup.
Not so simple, as the caramelized onions add a fantastic addition of sweetness and the overall extra addition of awesomeness that it gives this sort of boring soup (yes, my kid will be mortified: I used the word awesomeness!). How easy is it to make lentil soup with fresh lentils? SOOO easy! Yes, people, there is no excuse not to make your own lentil soup and ditch the canned ones. I like rinse my lentils before adding them. Also, everyone has a preference on their lentil soup consistency. Do you like yours a little more liquidy? If so, add more water. Want yours more thick? Very easy! Just add less water. If the situation is that you are more of thick lentil soup kinda of a person, start off with 3 parts of liquid, as opposed to 4. You could always add more as it cooks along. In case you are vegan or vegetarian, this soup is perfect for you! If you are vegan, you could use a vegan sour cream on top or soy yogurt (or skip that part). If you aren't vegan or vegetarian, you could use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth! If you are following a GF diet, this soup is also something for you to consider!
Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onions
Prep Time: approx 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients (4 servings)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot, chopped fine (or use an onion)
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups of water
- 2 cups lentils, rinsed
- 1 cup water
- pinch cayenne
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt (for serving) (use soy if vegan)
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs (I used parsley)
To caramelize the onion,heat the olive oil in a pan over moderate heat. Throw in the onion and cook until beginning to brown. Sprinkle sugar evenly over onions and continue to cook until onions are brown, sweet, and sticky. You could omit the sugar if you would like it less sweet and it will still be delicious.
While the onions are caramelizing, in a medium saucepan, combine lentils with water, broth, cayenne, turmeric, salt, and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until lentils are soft and beginning to break down. You could smash some of the lentils against the side of the pan with a spoon to thicken the soup. Add the caramelized onions to the soup. If lentils look to dry, you could add more water or broth.
Turn off heat, and stir in chopped parsley and lemon juice. Ladle into bowls and serve with the low-fat yogurt and the chopped fresh herbs.