Hearty Lentil Soup Recipe
This is one of those recipes you're going to want to save for a rainy day. Both literally and figuratively. It's stick-to-your ribs comfort food that warms your belly and your soul. There's no secret ingredient or magic technique that makes this soup taste so great. It's a recipe so classically simple that even the world's grumpiest grandma wont be able to help but lend it a nod (and maybe even a grunt) of approval.
2 cups dried green lentils (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/4 cup avocado oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
2 Bay leaves
6 cups low sodium chicken stock
Place the avocado oil in a large 6-quart Dutch oven pot or similar vessel. Turn the heat to medium.
Sauté the onion, carrot, and celery for 7-10 minutes, or until they juussst begin to pick up some color. Add the garlic, herbs, Bay leaves, and chili flakes and sauté for 1-2 minutes more. Add a pinch of salt and pepper at this stage.
Add the tomato paste to the vegetable mixture in the pot and stir it around for approx. 3 minutes, thoroughly mixing it with the vegetables. It should take on an orange-ish hue. (This is called pincaging the tomato paste, if you want to get all fancy). Add another pinch of salt and pepper.
Add the lentils and the chicken stock to the pot and stir to combine everything. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook covered for 30 minutes then uncovered for 15. Serve with crusty bread.