You know the drill – I ask the wife what she wants for dinner and sometimes the answer is “something in a bowl.” She loves food in a bowl (as do I) and this lentil and vegetable soup is warm, comforting and filling…perfect for a Winter day. It is also gluten-free, corn-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free, but defintely not free of flavor. This is a vegan dish as well if you ignore the bacon garnish in the photo.
Lentils are legumes, which are not paleo-approved, but they are packed with nutritional value and have anti-inflammatory properties as well. They are not difficult to prepare but, like anything, need to be seasoned and can be under or overcooked without attention. I like to prepare the lentils ahead of time and then reintroduce them to a dish to warm through and absorb a little more flavor without turning to mush.
I find soups can also be a little thin, and sometimes I like a brothy soup, but this lentil and vegetable soup does well with a little body. While it is simmering, I make a quick roux (typically a fat and flour) that will incorporate into the soup and make it thicker without lumps. With the addition of a little almond milk, it becomes a quasi bechamel. Gluten-free flours only, folks!
I garnish it with a littel crisp bacon and some fresh basil, but you can omit these or add your own preferred garnish.
Lentil and Vegetable Soup | Gluten-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free, Corn-free, AIP friendly, Vegan option
- 2 cups Lentils, green cooked
- ½ cup Onion, white chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- ¼ cup Leeks sliced or chopped, washed thoroughly
- 1 cup Carrots quartered and sliced
- ½ cup Asparagus sliced ⅛"-¼", on a bias if you're fancy or hate asparagus rolling away
- 1 tbsp Olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tsp Salt divided
- Black pepper to taste
- 4 cups Vegetable broth low sodium
- 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp Sage rubbed
- 1/4 cup Olive oil extra virgin
- ¼ cup Almond flour
- 1 cup Almond milk unsweetened, heated
- Prepare the lentils according to the instructions on the package, season as desired while cooking (usually just some salt and pepper.) You can cook the lentils with broth to add additional flavor, if you wish. I usually substitute 1/4 of the liquid. Set aside.
- Prep all vegetables (get out that knife, safely.) Mis en place is important.
- In a heavy-bottomed soup or stock pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Do not allow to smoke…just heat for 60 seconds or so. If it is hot enough, the veggies sizzle when you introduce them into the pot. If they don't sizzle, it's ok, just wait a little longer next time. The type of pot and amount of heat varies, so this can't be exact. To test the oil temp, you can toss in a very small amount of almond flour. If it sizzles, the oil is hot enough. DO NOT DROP WATER INTO THE OIL.
- Add the chopped onion and sautee for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions start looking happy and glazed. Add the minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds, then add the rest of the vegetables. Stir in ½ tsp salt and a bit of black pepper (cracked, ground, whatever you prefer, and to taste…5-6 turns of a pepper mill for me)
- Reduce heat to medium. Sweat the vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the broth and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Carefully taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary (hint, add salt)
- Prepare the roux. In a sauce pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and allow to heat for 60 seconds. Begin whisking and add all the flour at once, whisking constantly until it begins to bubble. Reduce the heat to low and whisk slowly for 2-3 minutes. Do not allow to burn. Add the heated milk and whisk briskly until combined.
- Add the "roux-chamel" to the soup and stir. Your soup burner should still be med-low to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the pre-cooked lentils and ½ tsp salt, stir, and simmer for 10 minutes more. Allow to cool slightly and serve.