This is an Alton Brown Lentil Soup recipe. I've made one change in order to make it vegan. Instead of using chicken stock, or any stock for that matter, I just add water in it's place. Onion, celery and carrot are the basic ingredients in a vegetable broth. Since those ingredients are already added to the pot the stock just doesn't seem necessary to me. I am especially opposed to using can or packaged stocks of any sort, because they contain ingredients like added salt and preservatives. Also, since vegetable stock is so simple to make why not make your own from fresh ingredients.
Also, I add the cumin, coriander and grains of paradise to the sautéed onions, carrots and celery and let the spices cook into the vegetables before adding the tomatoes and water. I just think that this step enhances the flavors of the veggies and spices.
Grains of paradise add a unique taste to this soup. If you are not familiar with these flavorful grains there is a photo below. They look like a much smaller peppercorn, though there flavor is unique and not at all like a pepper. I bought a pepper mill just for these grains and grind them fresh whenever needed.
Just before serving I drizzle with olive oil for added richness.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
- 1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes
- 2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground toasted cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground grains of paradise
Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin and grains of paradise and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree to your preferred consistency. Serve immediately.
SERVES: 6; Calories: 372; Total Fat: 8 grams; Saturated Fat: 1 grams; Protein: 24 grams; Total carbohydrates: 55 grams; Sugar: 5 grams Fiber: 13 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Sodium: 762 milligrams