Main Courses

Hearty Har Har Lentil Soup – Vegan

During the cooler months, I make this vegan soup for us at least monthly. It’s a big recipe, for taking to lunch several days etc. (Amounts updated February 2020)

  • 4 cups hot water (start heating in the kettle while getting everything ready), to start
  • 1 cup brown, green or black lentils, checked for foreign matter, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup raw brown rice or pearled barley (optional)
  • 8-10 oz. frozen chopped greens (kale, spinach, turnip, collard 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 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 then reduce to simmer, cook 10-15 minutes, covered but stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper, taste and add more if desired. Can add up to 2 cups boiling water for a soupier consistency.

Other spices are not needed, but if desired, add along with the vegetables. Suggestion 1: 2 teaspoons Italian dried herb blend. Suggestion 2: Southwestern style – 1 teaspoon cumin (whole or ground), 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika and 1 teaspoon dried oregano.

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

Makes about 2 quarts, or 6-8 servings.

Notes: Soup thickens when refrigerated. For leftovers, you might want to add 1/4 to 1/2 cup 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 optional olive oil contributes to flavor and mouth-feel.

Adapted by Ben S. Pollock from Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup from Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbook website.

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