Hearty Har Har Lentil Soup – Vegan

During the cooler months, I make this vegan soup for us about three times a month. We haven’t gotten tired of it. It’s a big recipe, for taking to lunch for days etc.

  • 6 cups hot water (start in the kettle while getting everything ready)
  • 2 cups brown, green or black lentils, checked for foreign matter, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup brown rice or pearl barley (optional)
  • 8 oz. frozen chopped greens (spinach, turnip, collard, kale etc.), thawing not necessary
  • 1 28 oz can tomatoes, including juice, crushed or diced. If whole, then cut up
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion chopped (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, to start
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, to start

Place water, lentils and optional rice or barley with the hot water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium-low and cook 15-20 minutes, covered. Add greens, tomatoes, garlic, optional olive oil and/or optional onion, return to boil and reduce to simmer, cook 5 minutes, covered. Add salt and pepper, taste and add more if desired. Can add 1-2 cups boiling water for a soupier consistency.

Other spices are not needed, but if desired, add along with the tomatoes. Suggestion 1: 2 teaspoons Italian dried herb blend including oregano, thyme and basil. Option 2: Southwestern style – 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika and 1 teaspoon dried oregano.

Can garnish with chopped parsley, avocado slices or perhaps nondairy plain yogurt.

Makes about 3 quarts, or 6-8 servings.

Notes: For leftovers, you might want to add 2-4 Tablespoons water per serving, before reheating. Red lentils are not recommended because they fully fall apart in cooking, not as attractive with these particular ingredients. The oil is added for flavor; given the quantity of the soup, it adds few additional calories.

Adapted by Ben S. Pollock from from 101cookbooks.com of Heidi Swanson

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