Now that I have to make my way home in the cold and in the dark, I’m finding myself craving warm, comforting soups and stews for dinner.
This fall vegetable red lentil soup is one of my favourites for those dark and chilly evenings. It requires very little actual work beyond peeling and chopping a few veggies (actually, the peeling is optional… so you can skip that step and just scrub your veggies thoroughly if you’re feeling lazy), and less than 45 minutes later, you’re rewarded with a piping hot bowl of sunny orange soup.
Honestly, it would probably take more work to dig out a takeout menu and wait for the delivery guy to show up… it’s just THAT easy.
My personal preference is for a creamy, velvety texture when it comes to carrot or sweet potato soups, so I puree the soup using my handy-dandy immersion blender.
However, if you don’t happen to own one or if you’re feeling so lazy you can’t contemplate washing one small appliance, then you can certainly skip this step and serve the soup in its un-pureed chunky glory. Just call it “ragout” and no one will be any wiser… things always sound impressive if you give them a French name anyways. :)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp curry paste
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced (~2 cups)
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (~2 cups)
- ½ fennel bulb, cored and chopped (~1 cup)
- 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped
- ¾ cup red lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, saute the onion in olive oil and butter for 10 minutes or until soft and golden, stirring frequently. Stir in the minced garlic and curry, and continue sauteeing until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the sweet potato, carrots, fennel, apple, lentils and broth.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
- Using an immersion blender, blend soup until you have a smooth puree (or pour into a food processor and puree, working in batches if necessary). If the soup seems to be a little too thick at this stage, add more water or broth until you're pleased with the consistency.
- Serve immediately, garnishing with a dollop of yogurt if desired.