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Split Red Lentil Spinach Soup (It’s Vegan, Baby!)

October 26, 2010

Split Red Lentil Spinach Soup

I came across this soup when I was helping to remodel a particularly nice woman’s kitchen. It was a frigid winter day and I had been lugging in cabinets from the frozen garage for about five hours before my lunch break. When I finally sat down to my cold, misshapen lunch, she offered to microwave me a bowl of this soup to keep me from freezing solid. After I inhaled it and complimented the chef to no end, she gave me the recipe and a bag of her left-over lentils to top it off. I bought the rest of the ingredients before I got home and made my own batch that very night. Then, after I had some and enjoyed it thoroughly, I brought a container of it over to a friend’s house, where the two of us watched a Sesame Street DVD (Cookie Monster’s Best Bites), had a couple beers, watched a movie, and never had the soup. Then, I went home. Good story, Aaron. Anyways, without further adieu, my favorite soup:

Each ingredient comes in small quantity and adds its own unique quality to the soup.

It looks complicated, but it's not.

To make the soup, you will need:

  • (1) Whole white onion, diced
  • (1) Zucchini, diced
  • (1) Yellow bell pepper, diced
  • (1) Tbsp grated ginger
  • (3) Tsp ground cumin seeds
  • Enough olive oil to barely coat the bottom of pot
  • (4) Cups of water
  • (4) Cups of  vegetable stock [1 vegetable bouillon cube usually makes 2 cups of stock, so 2 cubes would work]
  • (1 and 1/2) Cups split red lentils
  • (1) Tsp of sea salt [more or less to taste]
  • About (3) oz. of baby spinach
  • (1) Lemon

Everything is mostly prepared.

Step 1: Heat the olive oil over a medium flame in a large pot, capable of holding at least a gallon of liquid. Then, saute the onions, the zucchini, and the yellow pepper in the pot for about 3 minutes.

Step 2: Add the cumin and the ginger and continue sauteing for about 2 more minutes.

Step 3: Add the stock and the water and bring it all to a boil.

Step 4: Bring the fledgling soup to a simmer, rinse off the lentils in a sieve, and add them and the sea salt to the soup. Continue simmering for 15 minutes.

The soup, pre-spinach.

Step 5: Add the baby spinach and simmer on low until the spinach wilts (about 3 minutes.) Add a cup or less of water if the soup is too thick. (If you can effectively fist the soup into your face, it’s too thick.)

The soup, post-spinach.

Step 6: Serve with a squirt of fresh lemon juice and enjoy! (see first picture)

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