Ahhh, lentils. The unsexiest of foods. Like a Honda Accord they’re practical, reliable and economical, not sexy or exciting. Except for my boyfriend’s Honda Accord which is totally sexy and exciting. Promise, babe! I like to cook with lentils because they’re healthy, inexpensive, filling (hello, protein) and one batch makes almost a week’s worth of lunches. Left to themselves lentils can be a little meh, but with the addition of curry powder they’re so much more interesting. Exciting even!
This soup is really easy to prepare and will keep for several days in the fridge. I suggest undercooking the lentils slightly so they still have some bite to them. And take the soup off the heat when it still looks a little watery or soupy. The lentils will continue to absorb the liquid so if it looks perfect on the stove top you’re going to have to add water or stock a day or two down the road. I use chicken stock but if you want to make this vegan you can absolutely substitute vegetable stock. If you can find the French green Le Puy lentils use those because they’re firm and really hold their shape. However, they can be hard to find so I usually end up using regular brown lentils which work just as well.
I take this to work for lunch with some whole grain bread and fruit salad. It’s the perfect lunch that keeps me full until dinner time.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 cups dried green or brown lentils
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 14.5-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 4-5 handfuls of baby spinach
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shallot, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until vegetables start to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent garlic from burning. Add the curry powder, salt and pepper and stir until all of the vegetables are coated and the curry powder becomes fragrant. Add the lentils and mix to coat.
- Add the chicken broth and water and stir. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes or until lentils are tender but still firm. If the lentils start to look dry before they're fully cooked, slowly add additional water.
- Stir in the diced tomatoes and spinach. Stir until the spinach is wilted. Remove from the heat and serve.