I love a good vegetable lentil soup in the winter. Serve with bread or crackers and cheese to make supper. Or freeze it for meal prep. This soup is simple to make but totally delicious. The trick is to saute the veggies until they are starting to brown and smell fragrant, then stir in the tomato paste and let it cook for a few minutes to build a big base of flavour.
I recommend using dry yellow split peas for this recipe. They hold their shape and are packed with protein and have a lovely bite. They take about 20-30 minutes to cook. If you are using dry red lentils they cook much quicker, just 5 minutes. Look for yellow split peas in the bulk section of the grocery store or your local health food store. Or make it quick and use a can of lentils!
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cooking onion chopped
- 1 head thinly sliced swiss chard or baby spinach
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 can tomato paste
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 cup dry yellow split peas (see notes above for lentil substitutions)
- 1 chicken or vegetable bouillon cube
- 1 tbsp thyme
Coat the bottom of a large soup pot with the 5 tbsp olive oil. Saute the onion, celery and carrot with a generous shake of salt and pepper over medium heat for ten minutes. Add the chopped garlic and tomato paste and stir as the paste browns and starts to caramelize for another few minutes.
Add the 6 cups of water and bouillon cube and bring to a boil. Toss in the split peas and bay leaf and simmer for 30 minutes until split peas are tender. If using red lentil the cooking time is less, just 5-7 minutes.
Once the lentils are done turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves and stir in the swiss chard. The residual heat from the soup will wilt it perfectly. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed. This soups taste even better after a day in the fridge and freezes well too. Highly recommend serving it with some fresh bread with butter and a hard cheese.
Need inspiration for more soups and stews for winter? Check out this easy chickpea curry, coconut milk butternut squash soup, slow cooker beef tostadas and butter chicken.