This soup reheats well, so I make a large batch and store whatever I won’t eat within a weeks’ time in 2 cup containers in the freezer. This makes it easy to take for lunch or reheat for a quick weeknight meal. It is delicious served over brown rice or with whole grain bread, crackers or pita.
4 tablespoons olive oil*
1 large, or 2 medium onions, ¼ to ½-inch dice
2 stalks celery, ¼ to ½-inch dice
4 medium carrots, ¼ to ½-inch dice
1 cup diced sweet potato, potato, or winter squash
1 cup ¼ to ½-inch diced summer squash or zucchini
6 tablespoons finely minced cilantro stems and roots
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
28-ounces tomato sauce (low-sodium, if possible)
2 cups red lentils
2 small limes, juiced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 scallions, sliced thinly on a bias
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 6 to 8 quart stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, stirring occasionally. If onions begin to cook to quickly and stick or become deep brown in spots, turn heat down to medium.
- While onion is cooking, chop and add celery, carrots, sweet potato, summer squash and cilantro stems, 1 teaspoon salt, turmeric and cumin to the pot, continuing to stir occasionally. If the vegetables begin to brown or stick, cover with a lid. Cook for 5 min.
- Add tomato sauce, 8 cups of water and lentils. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and cover with a lid; soup should be simmering (lightly bubbling). Cook for 30 minutes. Stir frequently for the first 10 minutes or lentils will stick to the bottom of the pot.
- When the soup is nearly done, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over high heat. When oil just starts to smoke, add in scallions and stir-fry until the edges crisp and brown slightly. Remove scallions from pan and set aside for garnishing.
- Season soup to taste with lime juice, salt and pepper.
- Serve soup sprinkled with scallions. Stir remaining scallions into the soup when you’re putting the soup away after dinner.
*If you prefer crunchy scallions, heat enough oil to truly fry the scallions (about 1 cup) and cook the scallions in 2 batches. You can scoop the scallions out of the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve the leftover oil for other uses; it is great for salad dressings, pastas, and drizzled over baked potatoes or roasted vegetables.
Makes: 18 cups (9 bowls)