This one's for Dee.
Prep Time: If using a food processor, 20 min, if chopping by hand 45 min (or 1 hr if you are slow like me)
Makes: ~24-28 cups of soup. (Enough for dinner for 2 plus 5 days worth of lunches)
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger (can also use fresh, but I rarely have that in the house)
- 1/2 tsp ground corriander
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp salt (optional, I find the soup flat without some salt)
- 1 head of celery
- 3-4 carrots (just lightly less than celery)
- 900g bag of lentils (I use green usually, but mixed or whathaveyou works just fine)
- ~18 cups water (can use soup stalk if you have it, no need for salt if you do!)
- Pour olive oil into a large pot, and put on medium heat
- Mince/crush garlic. Chop onions. Add to pot. Stir.
- Add spices. Stir into onion garlic mixture. Let fry while chopping veggies.
- Chop/slice carrots and celery. Since carrots are sweet, chop 2/3rd's the amount of carrots to celery to keep the soup balanced. Add other veggies (optional).
- Wash lentils, and add the bag's worth to pot. Immediately add the water or soup stalk. Bring pot to boil on high heat, then turn down to 1/3rd heat. Stir occasionally. Add more water if necessary. Cook for 2 hrs, or until lentils are soft.
- Your food processor is your friend. I use the chopping blade for the garlic and onions (as well as the eggplant), and the slicing blade for the carrots and celery. Saves about 45 min in prep time for me!
- This is a very basic soup. You can add all sorts of veggies and starches to make it interesting. I like adding 1 cup of chopped potatoes, or frozen peas/mixed veggies. If you are trying to get more veggies hidden, finely chopped eggplant is excellent, it takes on the flavour of the soup and mimics ground beef.
- How much soup you get will vary by how much veggie you add (obviously). I have a 32 cup pot. I like to make sure my pot is half full of veggies before I add the lentils and liquid, this ensures I get a full pot of soup. If you have more than half a pot of veggies, be prepared to have to scoop some out into a smaller pot at the 1 hr mark (this is approx. when the lentils will have swollen to full size).