Welcome back from the season of self-indulgence. Resolutions or not, many of us are ready to run from the sweets and toward anything green or healthy. Have I got just the thing for you!
This soup has a delicious smoky flavor, mild enough for young palates and complex enough for grown-ups. It is full of veggies and can can be made vegan by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. I was inspired by a delicious recipe I saw on Cookin’ Canuck a while back, and adapted the recipe to suit my own tastes. I used fire-roasted tomatoes, a bit of chili powder, a pinch of cumin, and cilantro. It was delicious!
If you’ve never bought lentils before, the packaging varies brand to brand–some call them brown lentils, others call them green. I purchased brown-colored lentils that were labeled “green lentils.” You’re not necessarily looking for French green lentils, you just don’t want red/orange lentils. Make sense?
This soup freezes well and is smashing with a hot grilled sandwich alongside it. Happy New Year! May the anti-gluttony begin!
Add a drizzle of olive oil to a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Heat oil over medium heat, then add onion and celery. Cook, over medium heat about 5-6 minutes, or until veggies are beginning to soften. Add garlic, smoked paprika, chili powder, pinch of cumin, and a little salt and pepper and cook 1 minute more.
Stir in tomatoes and their juices, lentils, broth, and water. Increase heat to medium-high and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 30-35 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Remove from heat, stir in half of the black beans, and cool about 10 minutes.
Transfer about half of the soup to a blender or food processor. Pulse until combined but not completely smooth. Pour mixture back into the soup pot. Stir in remaining black beans, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.
*Gluten free notes: Be sure to check that your broth is gluten free. I like Pacific Naturals brand.